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´╗┐Title: Letters of George Borrow to the British and Foreign Bible Society
Author: Borrow, George Henry, 1803-1881
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Letters of George Borrow to the British and Foreign Bible Society" ***

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Transcribed from the 1911, Hodder and Stoughton edition by David Price,
email ccx074@pglaf.org


                 Published by Direction of the Committee

                                EDITED BY
                               T. H. DARLOW

                           HODDER AND STOUGHTON
                       LONDON   NEW YORK   TORONTO

                           WILLIAMSON LAMPLOUGH
                        CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE
                        OF THE BRITISH AND FOREIGN
                              BIBLE SOCIETY
                            THESE LETTERS FROM
                            ARE DEDICATED WITH
                               THEIR EDITOR

To the Rev. J. Jowett

                                          WILLOW LANE, ST. GILES, NORWICH,
                                                      _Feb._ 10_th_, 1833.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I have just received your communication, and
notwithstanding it is Sunday morning, and the bells with their loud and
clear voices are calling me to church, I have sat down to answer it by
return of post.  It is scarcely necessary for me to say that I was
rejoiced to see the Chrestomathie Mandchou, which will be of no slight
assistance in learning the Tartar dialect, on which ever since I left
London I have been almost incessantly occupied.  It is, then, your
opinion, that from the lack of anything in the form of Grammar I have
scarcely made any progress towards the attainment of Mandchou; perhaps
you will not be perfectly miserable at being informed that you were never
more mistaken in your life.  I can already, with the assistance of Amyot,
_translate Mandchou_ with no great difficulty, and am perfectly qualified
to write a critique on the version of St. Matthew's Gospel, which I
brought with me into the country.  Upon the whole, I consider the
translation a good one, but I cannot help thinking that the author has
been frequently too paraphrastical, and that in various places he must be
utterly unintelligible to the Mandchous from having unnecessarily made
use of words which are not Mandchou, and with which the Tartars cannot be

What must they think, for example, on coming to the sentence . . . _apkai
etchin ni porofiyat_, _i.e._ the prophet of the Lord of heaven?  For the
last word in the Mandchou quotation being a modification of a Greek word,
with no marginal explanation, renders the whole dark to a Tartar.  [Greek
text]; _apkai_ I know, and _etchin_ I know, but what is _porofiyat_, he
will say.  Now in Tartar, there are words synonymous with our seer,
diviner, or foreteller, and I feel disposed to be angry with the
translator for not having used one of these words in preference to
modifying [Greek text]; and it is certainly unpardonable of him to have
Tartarized [Greek text] into . . . _anguel_, when in Tartar there is a
word equal to our messenger, which is the literal translation of [Greek
text].  But I will have done with finding fault, and proceed to the more
agreeable task of answering your letter.

My brother's address is as follows:

                                                          Don Juan Borrow,
                                                 Compagnia Anglo Mexicana,
                                                       Guanajuato, Mexico.

When you write to him, the letter must be put in post before the third
Wednesday of the month, on which day the Mexican letter-packet is made
up.  I suppose it is unnecessary to inform you that the outward postage
of all foreign letters must be paid at the office, but I wish you
particularly to be aware that it will be absolutely necessary to let my
brother know in what dialect of the Mexican this translation is made, in
order that he may transmit it to the proper quarter, for within the short
distance of twenty miles of the place where he resides there are no less
than six dialects spoken, which differ more from each other than the
German does from the English.  I intend to write to him next Thursday,
and if you will favour me with an answer on this very important point, by
return of post, I shall feel obliged.

Return my kind and respected friend Mr. Brandram my best thanks for his
present of _The Gypsies' Advocate_, and assure him that, next to the
acquirement of Mandchou, the conversion and enlightening of those
interesting people occupy the principal place in my mind.  Will he be
willing to write to the Gypsy Committee concerning me?  I wish to
translate the Gospel of St. John into their language, which I could
easily do with the assistance of one or two of the old people, but then
they must be paid, for the Gypsies are more mercenary than Jews.  I have
already written to my dear friend Mr. Cunningham on this subject, and
have no doubt that he will promote the plan to the utmost of his ability.
I must procure a letter of introduction from him to Joseph Gurney, and
should be very happy to obtain one also from Mr. Brandram, for in all
which regards the Gospel and the glory of Christ, Joseph Gurney is the
principal person to look to in these parts.  I will now conclude by
beseeching you to send me as soon as possible _whatever can serve to
enlighten me in respect to Mandchou Grammar_, for had I a Grammar, I
should in a month's time be able to send a Mandchou translation of Jonah.
In the meanwhile I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, your most humble and
obedient servant,

                                                                G. BORROW.

To the Rev. J. Jowett

                                                     18_th_ _March_, 1833,
                                          WILLOW LANE, ST. GILES, NORWICH.

DEAR SIR,--As yourself and Mr. Brandram expressed a desire to hear from
me occasionally concerning my progress in Mandchou, I now write to inform
you that I am advancing at full gallop, and am able to translate with
pleasure and facility the specimens of the best authors who have written
in the language contained in the compilation of Klaproth.  But I must
confess that the want of a Grammar has been, particularly in the
beginning of my course, a great clog to my speed, and I have little doubt
that had I been furnished with one I should have attained my present
knowledge of Mandchou in half the time.  I was determined however not to
be discouraged, and, not having a hatchet at hand to cut down the tree
with, to attack it with my knife; and I would advise every one to make
the most of the tools which happen to be in his possession, until he can
procure better ones, and it is not improbable that by the time the good
tools arrive he will find he has not much need of them, having almost
accomplished his work.  This is not exactly my case, for I shall be very
glad to receive this same tripartite Grammar which Mr. Brandram is
hunting for, my ideas respecting Mandchou construction being still very
vague and wandering, and I should also be happy if you could and would
procure for me the original grammatical work of Amyot, printed in the
_Memoires_, etc.  Present my kind regards to Mr. Hattersley, and thank
him in my name for his kind letter, but at the same time tell him that I
was sorry to learn that he was putting himself to the trouble of
transferring into Mandchou characters the specimens which Amyot has given
in Roman, as there was no necessity for it in respect to myself, a mere
transcript being quite sufficient to convey the information I was in need
of.  Assure him likewise that I am much disposed to agree with him in his
opinion of Amyot's Dictionary, which he terms in his letter 'something
not very first-rate,' for the Frenchman's translations of the Mandchou
words are anything but clear and satisfactory, and being far from
literal, frequently leave the student in great doubt and perplexity.

I have sent to my brother one copy of St. Luke's Gospel with a letter;
the postage was 15s. 5d.  My reason for sending only one was, that the
rate of postage increases with the weight, and that the two Gospels can
go out much cheaper singly than together.  The other I shall dispatch
next month.

I subjoin a translation from the Mandchou, as I am one of those who do
not wish people to believe words but works; and as I have had no Grammar,
and been only seven weeks at a language which Amyot says _one may acquire
in five or six years_, I thought you might believe my account of my
progress to be a piece of exaggeration and vain boasting.  The
translation is from the Mongol History, which, not being translated by
Klaproth, I have selected as most adapted to the present occasion; I must
premise that I translate as I write, and if there be any inaccuracies, as
I daresay there will, some allowance must be made for haste, which
prevents my devoting the attention necessary to a perfectly correct
rendering of the text.

I will conclude by observing that I believe myself at present competent
to edit any book in Mandchou, _if that be what is wanted_, and beg leave
to remain, dear Sir, your obedient humble servant,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. J. Jowett

                                                        _June_ 9_th_, 1833
                                          WILLOW LANE, ST. GILES, NORWICH.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I have mastered Mandchou, and I should feel obliged
by your informing the Committee of the fact, and also my excellent friend
Mr. Brandram.

I assure you that I have had no easy and pleasant task in acquiring this
language.  In the first place, it is in every respect different from all
others which I have studied, with perhaps the exception of the Turkish,
to which it seems to bear some remote resemblance in syntax, though none
in words.  In the second place, it abounds with idiomatic phrases, which
can only be learnt by habit, and to the understanding of which a
Dictionary is of little or no use, the words separately having either no
meaning or a meaning quite distinct from that which they possess when
thus conjoined.  And thirdly the helps afforded me in this undertaking
have been sadly inadequate.  However, with the assistance of God, I have
performed my engagement.

I have translated several pieces from the Mandchou, amongst which is the
. . . or Spirit of the Hearth ([Greek text]), which is a peculiarly
difficult composition, and which had never previously been translated
into a European language.  Should you desire a copy, I shall have great
pleasure in sending one.

I shall now be happy to be regularly employed, for though I am not in
want, my affairs are not in a very flourishing condition.

I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, your most obedient humble servant,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. J. Jowett

                                          WILLOW LANE, ST. GILES, NORWICH,
                                                         _July_ 3rd, 1833.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--Owing to the culpable tardiness of the post-office
people, I have received your letter so late that I have little more than
a quarter of an hour to answer it in, and be in time to despatch it by
this day's mail.  What you have written has given me great pleasure, as
it holds out hope that I may be employed usefully to the Deity, to man,
and myself.  I shall be very happy to visit St. Petersburg and to become
the coadjutor of Mr. Lipoftsoff, and to avail myself of his acquirements
in what you very happily designate a most singular language, towards
obtaining a still greater proficiency in it.  I flatter myself that I am
for one or two reasons tolerably well adapted for the contemplated
expedition, for besides a competent knowledge of French and German, I
possess some acquaintance with Russian, being able to read without much
difficulty any printed Russian book, and I have little doubt that after a
few months' intercourse with the natives I should be able to speak it
fluently.  It would ill become me to bargain like a Jew or a Gypsy as to
terms; all I wish to say on that point is, that I have nothing of my own,
having been too long dependent on an excellent mother, who is not herself
in very easy circumstances.

I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, truly yours,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. J. Jowett

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. Aug. 13, 1833)
                                            HAMBURG, _August_ 4_th_, 1833.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I arrived at Hamburg yesterday after a disagreeable
passage of three days, in which I suffered much from sea-sickness, as did
all the other passengers, who were a medley of Germans, Swedes, and
Danes, I being the only Englishman on board, with the exception of the
captain and crew.  I landed about seven o'clock in the morning, and the
sun, notwithstanding the earliness of the hour, shone so fiercely that it
brought upon me a transient fit of delirium, which is scarcely to be
wondered at, if my previous state of exhaustion be considered.  You will
readily conceive that my situation, under all its circumstances, was not
a very enviable one; some people would perhaps call it a frightful one.
I did not come however to the slightest harm, for the Lord took care of
me through two of His instruments, Messrs.  Weil and Valentin, highly
respectable Jews of Copenhagen, who had been my fellow-passengers, and
with whom I had in some degree ingratiated myself on board, in our
intervals of ease, by conversing with them about the Talmud and the book
Sohar.  They conveyed me to the Konig von Engeland, an excellent hotel in
the street called the Neuenwall, and sent for a physician, who caused me
to take forty drops of laudanum and my head to be swathed in wet towels,
and afterwards caused me to be put to bed, where I soon fell asleep, and
awoke in the evening perfectly recovered and in the best spirits
possible.  This morning, Sunday, I called on the British Consul, Mr. H.
Canning, to whom I had a letter of recommendation.  He received me with
great civility, and honoured me with an invitation to dine with him
to-morrow, which I of course accepted.  He is a highly intelligent man,
and resembles strikingly in person his illustrious relative, the late
George Canning.  Since visiting him I have been to one of the five tall
churches which tower up above the tall houses; I thought its interior
very venerable and solemn, but the service seemed to be nothing more than
a low-muttered chanting, from which it was impossible to derive much
spiritual edification.  There was no sermon, and not more than twenty
persons were present, though the edifice would contain thousands
conveniently.  Hamburg is a huge place, and the eastern part of it is
intersected by wide canals communicating with the Elbe, so that vessels
find their way into most parts of the city; the bridges are consequently
very numerous, and are mostly of wood.  Some of the streets are planted
with trees, which have a pretty appearance, though upon the whole it has
certainly no claim to the appellation of a handsome town.  But no
observer can fail to be struck with the liveliness and bustle which reign
in this emporium of continental Europe, worthy to be compared with Tyre
of old or our own Liverpool.  Another city adjoins it called Altona, the
park of which and the environs are the favourite Sunday lounge of the
Hamburgers.  Altona is in Holstein, which belongs to the Danish
Government.  It is separated from the Hanseatic town merely by a small
gateway, so that it may truly be said here that there is but one step
from a republic to a monarchy.  Little can be said in commendation of the
moral state of this part of the world, for rope-dancers were displaying
their agility in the park to-day, and the dancing-saloons, which I am
informed are most infamous places, are open to the public this evening.
England with all her faults has still some regard to decency, and will
not tolerate such a shameless display of vice on so sacred a season, when
a decent cheerfulness is the freest form in which the mind or countenance
ought to invest themselves.  I shall depart for Lubeck on the sixth
(Tuesday), and shall probably be on the Baltic on my way to St.
Petersburg on the eighth, which is the day notified for the departure the
steamboat.  My next letter, provided it pleases the Almighty to
vouch-safe me a happy arrival, will be from the Russian capital; and with
a fervent request that you will not forget me in your prayers, and that
you will present my kind remembrances and best respects to Mr. Brandram,
and also remember me to Mr. Hattersley and Mr. Tarn, I have the honour to
remain, Revd. and dear Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. J. Jowett

                                      (_Endorsed_: recd. Sept. 26th, 1833)
                                  ST. PETERSBURG, No. 221 GALERNOY ULITZA.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--My last letter was from Hamburg, which I hope and
trust you received.  I started from thence on the 24th, and embarking at
Travemunde I arrived at the Russian capital on the 31st July (old style)
after an exceedingly pleasant passage, accomplished in the short space of
72 hours; for the wind was during the greatest part of our way favourable
and gentle, the sea being quite as smooth as a mill pond, so that the
paddles of our noble steamer, the _Nikolai_, were not at all impeded in
their working by any rolling or pitching of the vessel.  Immediately on
my arrival I sought out Mr. Swan, one of the most amiable and interesting
characters I have ever met with, and delivered to him your letter, the
contents of which were very agreeable to him; for from applying himself
too un-interruptedly to transcribing the manuscript of the Mandchou Old
Testament he had in some degree injured his health; and the arrival of a
coadjutor in the task was exceedingly opportune.  In a day or two I went
with him to pay a visit to Mr. Schmidt, who resides a few miles out of
town.  He assured us that he had no doubt of permission being granted for
the printing of the Mandchou New Testament, and promised to make all the
necessary inquiries, and to inform Mr. Swan and myself of the result.  He
was at the time we saw him much occupied with his Mongolian Grammar and
Dictionary, which are in the press.  We have not heard from him since
this visit, and I shall probably call upon him again in a week or two to
hear what steps he has taken.  I resided for nearly a fortnight in a
hotel, as the difficulty of procuring lodgings in this place is very
great, and when you have procured them, you have to furnish them yourself
at a considerable expense.  During this time I collated with Mr. Swan the
greatest part of what he had transcribed, and eventually I took up my
abode with Mr. Egerton Hubbard, a friend of Mr. Venning's, where I am for
the present very comfortably situated, and I do assure you exerting
myself to the utmost to fulfil the views of the Society.  I have
transcribed from the Mandchou Old Testament the second book of
Chronicles, which when I had done, I put aside the Old Testament for a
season, and by the advice of Mr. Swan began to copy St. Matthew's Gospel
from the version of the New, executed by the same hand as the Old, with
the purpose of comparing it with that of Mr. Lipoftsoff.  This task I
have just completed, and am now about to commence a transcript of the
Acts.  Respecting this manuscript translation of the Old and New
Testaments I must here observe, that with scarcely one exception it is
the most laborious and best executed work of the kind which I have ever
seen, and I cannot but admire the diligence and learning of him who,
probably unasked and unrewarded, engaged in and accomplished it.  The
style, as far as I can judge, is to an eminent degree elegant and
polished, and likely to captivate those whose taste is cultivated, and
with this advantage, it exhibits none of that obscurity which too
frequently attends refinement of language; and as for fidelity--it is
upon the whole executed as literally, and with as much adherence to the
original, as the genius of the Tartar language and the understandings of
the people, for whose edification it is intended, will permit.  But the
notes and elucidations (which I copy not) which follow every chapter,
both of the Old and New Testament, constitute the most surprising feature
of this work.  They are so full and copious, that they occupy far more
space than the text; indeed, I think I speak quite within bounds when I
say that for every page of text there are two of explanatory matter.  The
author was a French Jesuit, and when did a Jesuit any thing which he
undertook, whether laudable or the reverse, not far better than any other
person?  Staunch Protestant though I be, I am not ashamed to say that all
the skill and talent of our own missionaries, in acquiring languages and
making versions of the Scriptures, are, when compared with the
capabilities displayed by the seminary priests, faint and seemingly
insignificant; and yet it is singular enough that the labours of the
latter in this line have had almost invariably no other fate than to be
buried in continental public libraries or in the literary collections of
the learned and curious; from which it is manifest that the Lord smiled
not upon their undertakings.  They thought not of His glory but of the
glory of their order, and the consequence has been that 'He has put down
the mighty from their seat and has exalted the humble and meek.'

A few days since I called upon Mr. Lipoftsoff, and to my surprise
discovered that he was totally unaware of any plan being in agitation for
the printing of his translation of the Scriptures.  He said that he had
had no communication with Mr. Schmidt for several months; and far from
being able to furnish me with any information respecting the probable
destiny of his work, he asked questions of me concerning it.  He is a
gentleman rather advanced in years, probably between sixty and seventy,
but is nevertheless surprisingly hale and robust.  He was very kind, and
promised to give me any assistance in his power towards acquiring a
thorough knowledge of the Mandchou; and, permit me to say, that
Petersburg is the only place in Europe where such a knowledge can be
obtained, for the manuscripts and printed books in that tongue are very
plentiful here, and there are moreover several individuals who speak and
write it.  I of course most gladly accepted such an offer, and shall
endeavour to turn it to the best account.  Mr. L. speaks no European
language but Russ, which I am not sorry for, because frequent
conversation and intercourse with him will improve my knowledge of that
language.  It is a great error to suppose that a person resident in this
country can dispense with Russ, provided he is acquainted with French and
German.  The two latter languages, it is true, are spoken by the French
and German shop-keepers settled here.  French is moreover spoken (to
foreigners) by the nobility and a few of the officers in the army; but
neither are so generally understood as in England--German far less so;
and as for the Russians being the best general linguists in Europe, I am
totally unable to guess how the idea could have originated, but am
certain from personal experience that they are quite the contrary.

Petersburg is the finest city in the world; neither London nor Paris nor
any other European capital which I have visited has sufficient
pretensions to enter into comparison with it in respect to beauty and
grandeur.  Many of the streets are miles in length, as straight as an
arrow and adorned with the most superb edifices.  The so-called Nevsky
Prospect, a street which runs from the Admiralty to the Monastery of St.
Alexander Nevsky, is nearly three miles in length and for the greatest
part of the way floored with small blocks of wood shaped octagonally.
The broad and rapid Neva runs through the centre of this Queen of cities,
and on either side is a noble quay, from which you have a full view of
the river and of what is passing on its bosom.  But I will not be diffuse
in the description of objects which have been so often described, but
devote the following lines which my paper will contain to more important

The lower orders of the Russians are very willing to receive Scriptural
information, and very willing to purchase it if offered to them at a
price which comes within their means.  I will give an interesting example
of this.  A young man of the name of Nobbs, in the employ of Mr. Leake,
an English farmer residing a few _versts_ from Petersburg, is in the
habit on his return from the latter place, whither he is frequently sent
by his master, to carry with him a satchel filled with Russian New
Testaments and religious tracts, with which he is supplied by an
excellent English lady who dwells there.  He says that before he has
reached home, he has invariably disposed of his whole cargo to the
surrounding peasantry; and such is the hunger and thirst which they
display for the word of salvation that his stock has always been
insufficient to answer all the demands made, after it was known what
merchandise he brought with him.  There remain at present three hundred
copies unsold of the modern Russian New Testament at the shop which has
the disposal of the works of the late Russian Bible Society; these
copies, all of which are damaged from having been immersed during the
inundation of 1824, might all be disposed of in one day, provided proper
individuals were employed to hawk them about in the environs of this
capital.  There are twenty thousand copies on hand of the Sclavonian
Bible, which being in a language and character differing materially from
the modern Russ character and language, and only understood by the
learned, is unfit for general circulation, and the copies will probably
remain unsold, though the Synod is more favourable to the distribution of
the Scriptures in the ancient than in the modern form.  I was informed by
the attendant in the shop that the Synod had resolved upon not permitting
the printing of any fresh edition of the Scriptures in the modern Russ
until these twenty thousand copies in the ancient language had been
disposed of.  But it is possible that this assertion is incorrect.

I must now conclude; and with an earnest request that you will write to
me speedily, and deliver my kindest remembrances to Mr. Brandram and to
my other good friends at the Society House, I remain, Revd. and dear Sir,
your most obedient servant,

                                                                G. BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                        ST. PETERSBURG, _August_ 27, 1833.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--The bearer of this letter is Mr. Glen, the son of
the celebrated missionary of Astracan.  He is desirous of forming your
acquaintance, and I take the liberty of making him known to you.  He is a
young man of considerable learning, and a devout Christian.  His object
in visiting England is to qualify himself for the missionary calling, in
the hope that at some future period he may tread in the steps of his
father and proclaim a crucified Saviour to the Oriental heathens.  I am
at present, thanks be to the Lord, comfortable and happy, and am every
day busily engaged in transcribing the Mandchou Old Testament and
collating with Mr. Swan.

In the hope that these lines will find you in good health, I have the
honour to remain, Revd. and dear Sir, your most obedient servant,

                                                                G. BORROW.

To the Rev. J. Jowett

                                      (_Endorsed_: recd.  Feb. 17th, 1834)
                       ST. PETERSBURG, 20_th_ _January_ (old style), 1834.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I received in due time your epistle of the 2nd
January, which gave me considerable pleasure, as it is exceedingly
cheering in a foreign land to hear from one's friends and to know that
one is not forgotten by them.  I now proceed to give an account of my
stewardship up to the present time, which account I humbly trust will
afford perfect satisfaction to the Society which has honoured a frail
creature like myself with a charge, the importance and difficulty of
which I at present see much more clearly than I originally did.

My dear Sir, even when transcribing the Mandchou Scripture, I was far
from being forgetful of the ulterior object of my mission, and therefore,
as in duty bound, applied to Dr. Schmidt for advice and information, who
was the person upon whom I mainly depended.  But I found that gentleman
so involved in a multiplicity of business that it was utterly impossible
for him to afford me either; and though he was kind enough to promise to
make inquiry, etc. etc., it is very probable that he forgot to fulfil his
promise, for the result never came to my ears.

Thus circumstanced, and being very uneasy in my mind, I determined to
take a bold step, and directly and without further feeling my way to
petition the Government in my own name for permission to print the
Mandchou Scriptures.  Having communicated this determination to our
beloved, sincere, and most truly Christian friend Mr. Swan (who has
lately departed to his station in Siberia, shielded I trust by the arm of
his Master), it met with his perfect approbation and cordial
encouragement.  I therefore drew up a petition, and presented it with my
own hand to his Excellence Mr. Bludoff, Minister of the Interior.  He
having perused it, briefly answered, that he believed the matter did not
lie with him, but that he would consider.  I now began greatly to fear
that the affair would not come to a favourable issue, but nevertheless
prayed fervently to God, and confiding principally in Him, resolved to
leave no human means untried which were within my reach.

Since residing here I have assiduously cultivated the friendship of the
Honourable Mr. Bligh, His Britannic Majesty's plenipotentiary at the
Court of Russia, who has shown me many condescending marks of kindness,
and who is a person of superb talents, kind disposition, and of much
piety.  I therefore, on the evening of the day of my presenting the
petition, called upon him, and being informed that he was out of town,
and was not expected till late at night, I left a letter for him, in
which I entreated him to make use of whatever influence his high official
situation was calculated to give him with the Minister, towards procuring
a favourable reply; assuring him that the Mandchou version was not
intended for circulation nor calculated for circulation in any part of
the Russian Empire, but in China and Chinese Tartary solely.  I stated
that I would call for an answer the next morning.  I did so, and upon
seeing Mr. Bligh, he was kind enough to say that if I desired it he would
apply officially to the Minister, and exert all his influence in his
official character in order to obtain the accomplishment of my views; but
at the same time suggested that it would, perhaps, be as well at a
private interview to beg it as a personal favour; and to this I instantly
assented.  He spoke twice to Mr. Bludoff upon the subject; and I shortly
afterwards received a summons to appear at the Asiatic Department,
whither I went, and found that Mr. Bludoff had been enquiring whether any
person was to be found capable of being employed as Censor over the work,
and that it had been resolved that Mr. Lipoftsoff, who is one of the
clerks of the Asiatic Department, should be appointed Censor, and that I
should be the Editor of the work, provided permission were granted to
print it.  I went away, and having received no intelligence during the
space of a fortnight, I waited upon Mr. Bligh and begged that, provided
it were not disagreeable to him, he would make a fresh application to the
Minister.  And, singularly enough, Mr. Bludoff was to dine at Mr. Bligh's
that evening, and the latter amiable gentleman assured me that he would
not let so excellent an opportunity slip of saying what was calculated to
bring the matter to a conclusion.  That same night I received a message,
whereby I was requested to wait on Mr. Bludoff the next day, at one.  I
did so, and he received me in the most polite manner and said that the
matter did not entirely depend upon him, but that it would be necessary
to obtain the permission also of the Director of Worship, that however he
would give me a letter to that Dignitary, which he doubted not would have
some effect.  I received the letter, and without losing any time repaired
to the Director's Office and having delivered my letter, after waiting
some time, was told to call at the Asiatic Department on the first day of
the next week (the very day your letter arrived).  On calling there _I
found that permission had been granted to print the Mandchou Scripture_.

I hope that the honourable Committee and yourself will feel no
displeasure at my presuming here to make a slight suggestion.  We are
under great obligations to Mr. Bligh; and I have certainly taken great
liberties with the friendship with which he has thought proper to favour
me, liberties which I should certainly not have felt myself authorised to
have taken in any affair, the end of which was not the glorifying of God,
as the aim of this certainly is.  I therefore should wish to hint the
expediency of a letter in which the thanks of the Committee be presented
to Mr. Bligh for the interest which he has been pleased to take in this
business, and for the trouble he has given himself.  You are well aware
that a handsome acknowledgement of a kindness received is never taken
amiss; and as it is not impossible that Mr. Bligh, at another time and
even at another place, may have an opportunity of promoting the excellent
views of the Society, I cannot help thinking that such an acknowledgement
would be unwise neither in respect to what has occurred or may occur

In reply to your inquiries respecting my progress in the Mandchou
language, I have to observe that for some time past I have taken lessons
from a person who was twelve years in Pekin, and who speaks Mandchou and
Chinese with fluency.  I pay him about six shillings English for each
lesson, which I grudge not, for the perfect acquirement of Mandchou is
one of my most ardent wishes; as I am convinced that it is destined by
providence to be the medium for the spiritual illumination of countless
millions of Chinese and Tartars.  At present I can transcribe the Manchou
character with much greater facility and speed than I can the English.  I
can translate from it with tolerable facility, and have translated into
it, for an exercise, the second homily of the Church of England "On the
Misery of Man."  I have likewise occasionally composed a few hymns in
this language, the difficulty of which I am at present more fully aware
of than when I left England.  It is one of those deceitful tongues, the
seeming simplicity of whose structure induces you to suppose, after
applying to them for a month or two, that little more remains to be
learned, but which, should you continue to study a year, as I have
studied this, show themselves to you in their veritable colours, amazing
you with their copiousness, puzzling with their idioms.  In a word
Mandchou is equally as difficult as Sanscrit or Persian, neither of which
languages has ever been thoroughly acquired by any European, though at
first acquaintance they flatter the student with their deceitful
simplicity.  I take the liberty of sending you a short original epigram
in rhymed Mandchou, which if it answers no other purpose will afford you
some idea of my running Mandchou hand, which, as I now write
perpendicularly, is very different from that hand which I wrote
previously to my coming hither.  The epigram is upon the exploits of the

[Here follow four upright lines in Manchu characters.]

Milites qui e Manjurico deserto exierunt, bellando silvas, campos et
oppida Sinensis imperii captarunt.

Want of room obliges me to defer making a report upon Mr. Lipoftsoff's
translation until my next letter, which will follow in a week or two; for
I am unwilling in a matter of such immense importance to deliver a brief
and hurried opinion.  I have much to communicate also respecting the
proper means to be pursued for the introduction and circulation of the
volume, when printed, in China and Tartary.  This information I have
derived from the most authentic sources, namely from individuals who have
spent many years in these countries, and whose acquaintance I have
eagerly sought.

From England I have lately received a letter in which is an extract from
an epistle of my brother in Mexico, amounting to this--that there is no
native language in that country entitled to the appellation of _the_
Mexican language; that it is as incorrect to make use of such an
expression, as it would be to say definitely _the_ European language;
that setting aside the Spanish there are upwards of twenty languages and
dialects spoken in Mexico, none of which are read (except perhaps here
and there by a few individuals) but communicated by the mouth and only
acquired by the ear; that my brother has shown the sheet of St. Luke's
Gospel, which I transmitted to him, to various Spaniards and Indians, but
it was unintelligible to them, the latter not recognising the words when
read to them.  I should therefore advise that the copies of this version
be sent, if possible, to the place where the version was purchased, as it
was probably made in the language or dialect of that place or
neighbourhood, and where there is a chance of its being of some utility.
Should my brother have survived the late dreadful commotions in Mexico, I
have no doubt that he will be exceedingly happy to assist in flinging the
rays of Scriptural light over that most benighted and miserable region;
but having lately read in the Russian newspapers that the town of
Guanajuato, where he resided, has been taken and sacked by the murderous
bands of the insurgents, I have great reason to fear that his earthly
course is terminated, for the former, incited by their demoniacal
priests, in comparison with whom the Shamans of Manjuria and the lamas of
Mongolia and China are innocent and holy, lay hold of every opportunity
of shedding the blood of Protestants and foreigners.

I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, most truly yours,

                                                                G. BORROW.

To the Rev. J. Jowett

      (_Endorsed_: recd. March 10th, 1834, with Report on the Mandchou New
                                          ST. PETERSBURG, GALERNOY ULITZA,
                                            4 _February_ (old style) 1834.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--In compliance with the request of the Committee,
expressed in your epistle of the 2nd January, I herewith send a report
upon Mr. Lipoftsoff's translation; and as there were many things which I
wished to mention in my last letter, but was unable from want of room, I
take this opportunity of stating them, with the hope that they will meet
with your approbation.

In the first place, whatever communication you wish to make to Mr.
Lipoftsoff I think you had best charge me with to him, for in that case
you will be certain that he will receive it, without loss of time.  But I
must inform you that he is rather a singular man, and to all appearances
perfectly indifferent to the fate of his excellent translation, caring
nothing whether it be published as a powerful instrument to open the
closed eyes and soften the hard hearts of the idolators of China and
Tartary, or whether it be committed to the flames, and for ever lost to
the world.  You cannot conceive the cold, heartless apathy in respect to
the affair, on which I have been despatched hither as an _assistant_,
which I have found in people, to whom I looked, not unreasonably, for
encouragement and advice.  But thanks be to the Lord, the great object
has been accomplished, permission has been obtained to print the New
Testament, and have no doubt that permission for the whole Bible is
within our reach.  And in regard to what we have yet to do, let it be
borne in mind, that we are by no means dependent upon Mr. Lipoftsoff;
though certainly to secure the services which he is capable of performing
would be highly desirable, and though he cannot act outwardly in the
character of Editor, he having been appointed Censor, he may privately be
of great utility to us.  Therefore let the attempt to engage his services
be made without delay.

At the Sarepta House is a chest containing Mandchou characters, belonging
to the Bible Society, which I shall cause to be examined for the purpose
of ascertaining whether they have sustained any injury from rust during
the long time they have been lying neglected; if any of them have, my
learned friend Baron Schilling, who is in possession of a small fount of
Mandchou types for the convenience of printing trifles in that tongue,
has kindly promised to assist us with the use of as many of his own as
may be necessary.  There is one printing office here, where they are in
the habit of printing with the Mongolian character, which differs but
little from the Mandchou; consequently the Mongolian compositors will be
competent to the task of composing in Mandchou.  There are no Mandchou
types in St. Petersburg, with the exception of our own and Baron

I suppose that it will be thought requisite to print the town for a year
or so, it is my humble opinion, and the opinion of much wiser people,
that if he were active, zealous and likewise courageous, the blessings
resulting from his labours would be incalculable.  It would be by no
means a difficult thing to make excursions into Tartary and to form
friendships amongst the Tartar hordes, and I am far from certain that
with a little management and dexterity he would be unable to penetrate
even to Pekin, and to return in safety, after having examined the state
of the land.  I can only say that if it were my fortune to have the
opportunity, I would make the attempt, and should consider myself only to
blame if I did not succeed.

In my last letter I informed you that I had procured myself an instructor
in Mandchou, and that I was making tolerable progress in the language.  I
should now wish to ask whether this person could not be turned to some
further account; for example, to assist me in making a translation into
Mandchou of the Psalms and Isaiah, which have not yet been rendered.  A
few shillings a week, besides what I give him for my own benefit, would
secure his co-operation, for he is a person in very low circumstances.
He is not competent to undertake any thing of the kind by himself, being
in many respects very simple and ignorant; but as an assistant I think he
might be of considerable utility, and that between us we could produce a
version which, although it might not be particularly elegant, would be
clear, grammatical and faithful to the original.  In the mean time I
shall pursue my studies, and be getting every thing in readiness for
setting the printers at work; and with a humble request for _speedy
instructions_, in order that as little time as possible may be lost in
the work of the Lord, I have the honour to remain, Revd. and dear Sir,

Your most obedient and humble servant,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

P.S.--My kindest regards to Mr. Brandram and my other dear friends at the
Bible House.  I thank you heartily for your kind advice in the latter
part of your last epistle.  Do me the favour to inform Dr. Richardson
that I have followed his instructions in regard to clothing, etc., and
have derived great benefit therefrom.

To the Rev. Joseph Jowett

                                       (_Endorsed_: recd. March ---, 1834)
                            ST. PETERSBURG, _Febry._ 15 (old style), 1834.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--Having forgotten in my last letter to say something
which I intended, I take the liberty of troubling you with these lines.
But first of all I must apologise for certain slips of the pen in the
Report which I transmitted; for it left me without having been corrected,
Baron Schilling having called upon me just as I sat down to the task, and
when he had departed, I had barely time to seal it and despatch it by
that week's post.  There was in it, I believe, nothing of much importance
which required alteration, but, if I mistake not, I had written, in the
third side, vibebam, instead of _viverem_, and unaparelled, or some such
word, instead of _unparalleled_, in the fourth.  Now to the point.

What is to be done with the transcript of Puerot's translation of the
Acts of the Apostles, which I made, and which is now in my possession?
The translation is in every respect an admirable one; clear, faithful,
and elegant.  It would not do to print it in lieu of Mr. Lipoftsoff's
translation of that part of the New Testament; because the styles of the
two individuals are so different, that to mix up the writings of the one
with those of the other would only serve to disfigure the work, and Mr.
Lipoftsoff's translation is well worthy of being printed separately and
entire; but I conceive that we possess a treasure in Puerot's writings,
and that it would be a great pity to hide any portion of them from the
world.  Pray communicate this hint to the Committee, and pardon me for
troubling you.

I remain, Rev. and dear Sir, most sincerely yours,

                                                                G. BORROW.

To the Rev. J. Jowett

                                        (_Endorsed_: recd, May 16th, 1834)
                                          GALERNOY ULITZA, ST. PETERSBURG,
                                          15_th_ _April_ (old style) 1834.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--Upon the receipt of your letter of the [21st] ult.
[date omitted], I lost no time in endeavouring to obtain the necessary
information upon the points to which you directed my attention; and I
have some hope that what I am about to communicate will not be altogether
unsatisfactory; but I must first of all state that it was not acquired in
a day, and that I have been obliged to go to many people and many places,
which will account for my not having sooner returned an answer.

First, respecting the most important point, the expense of printing the
New Testament in Mandchou.  I was quite terrified at the enormous sums
which some of the printers to whom I made application required for the
work.  At length our friend Dr. Schmidt recommended me to the University
Press, and I having spoken to the directors of the establishment, they
sent me in the course of a week an estimate which neither Dr. Schmidt nor
myself considered to be unreasonable, and of this estimate I here subjoin
a translation:

    To Mr. Borrow.

    'After much consultation with the compositor, I have come to the
    following result concerning the Mandchou business about which you
    consulted me.  If the work be printed on as thin paper as that of the
    original, it can only be printed on one side.  Now supposing that the
    size is to be folio like that of the original, two sides will make a
    sheet, and the price of composition will be 26 roubles, 20
    copecks--that is to say; 12R. to the compositor, wages 2R. 50c.,
    percentage to the printing office 11R. 60c., making 26R. 20c.  The
    printing of 1000 on one side 2R. 50c., percentage 2R., making 4R.
    50c.  Thus for composition and printing 30R. 60c. for 1000; for 2000,
    35R. 10c.; for 3000, 39R. 60c.--

    Your very obedient servant,


In the meantime I had become acquainted with two German printers, Schultz
and Beneze, who being young men and just entered into business are very
eager to obtain the printing of a work of such importance, which they
hope will serve to bring them into notice, as well as being advantageous
to them in a pecuniary view.  The difference, as to the expense of
printing, in the estimate made by these gentlemen and that of the
University Press, will doubtless as much surprise you, as it did me.
Here it follows:

    'In respect to the printing of the New Testament in the Manchou
    language, the undersigned oblige themselves to undertake the printing
    of the said work.  In the first place, as the Bible Society, and in
    particular their agent Mr. Borrow, think fit to furnish the printers
    with the necessary types and paper, the undersigned offer to supply
    the sheet consisting of four pages with composition, clean and black
    printing, at the rate of 25 roubles, paper currency, for a thousand
    copies; for two thousand copies, five additional roubles assignats,
    so that the same sheet, only by a greater edition, amounts to 30
    roubles assignats; thirdly, for 3000 copies in the above proportion,
    35 roubles.  Fourthly, we promise during the interval of a certain
    period to supply at the rate of three sheets per week.


You will perceive that the amount of this estimate is less, by more than
one-half, than the amount of the other.  Schultz and Beneze's sheet
consists of four sides, and they charge less for it than the printers of
the University charge for theirs which consists only of two.  I should
therefore think that upon this ground they are entitled to the
preference, were there nothing else to recommend them, which, in my
humble opinion, there is; for being young beginners, and not having very
much to do, they are more likely to push the work forward, than a firm
overwhelmed with business, from whom, whatever might be promised, a sheet
per week is the utmost to be expected, by which much valuable time must
be lost.  Dr. Schmidt is acquainted with Messrs. S. & B., and highly
approves of their being employed.

Secondly, concerning paper, with which the printer has no concern.  I can
as yet say little for certain upon this matter, which has been the
occasion of no little trouble and expense; for I have been obliged to
take no less than three journeys to Peterhof, a town about 30 _versts_
distant, where stands the paper manufactory, for there is no such paper
as we want in the Russian capital.  In this manufactory they have about
50 _stopes_ or reams (we should require ten times that quantity for only
1000 copies) of the very paper, I believe, on which the Mandchou Gospel
of St. Matthew was printed, and some of the workmen said that they could
make as much more as should be required.  Concerning the price of this
paper, I could obtain no positive information, for the director and first
and second clerks were invariably absent, and the place abandoned to
ignorant understrappers (according to the custom of Russia).  And
notwithstanding I found out the director in Petersburg, he himself could
not tell me the price, but informed me that he would inquire, and
speedily send me word; but as I have as yet heard nothing from him, I
write lest it should be supposed in England that I am sleeping on my
station.  _I shall write again in a few days on this point_; _in the mean
time you would oblige me by causing the accounts of Dr. Pinkerton's
expenses to be referred to_, for the purpose of ascertaining how much he
paid per ream for this kind of paper.  I believe it to be extravagantly
dear, at least five times dearer than good common paper, which can be
procured for fifteen roubles per ream; and if that be the case, common
paper must be used and the book printed in the common fashion, unless the
Society be prepared to disburse thousands instead of hundreds; for if the
work were printed on this Chinese paper, four times more paper would be
required than if it were printed on the other, as five multiplied by four
make twenty, the expense of paper would be twenty times greater.

Thirdly, respecting Mr. Lipoftsoff, with whom I have of late had much
conversation.  He has behaved very handsomely.  He has made an immense
number of alterations in his translation, all of which are excellent
improvements, and all these are to be at our disposal gratis.  He says
that he cannot receive any remuneration for looking over the work, being
bound to do so as Censor.  I shall therefore edit it, and have the
supervision of the proof sheets, which he will peruse last of all.  He
having examined me in Mandchou did me the honour to say I required no
assistance at all; but should the Committee and yourself be of opinion
that it would be advisable to procure a little, the 'pundit' would be
very happy for an extra six or seven shillings per week to collate with
me when wanted.  I have derived great benefit from this man, who though
in many respects a most singular and uncouth being speaks Mandchou
gallantly, with the real pronunciation of _Pekin_, which differs
considerably from that of _Pekhan_ (the desert), being far more soft and
melodious.  During the interval which will elapse between my writing to
you and hearing from you, I shall borrow from Baron Schilling the
Mandchou Old Testament and reperuse the notes in order to be able to give
a suitable opinion as to their value.  My present opinion of them is no
mean one.  In answer to your query _respecting the transcript of the Old
Testament_, I beg leave to inform you that it is in the hands of a Mr.
Merrilies, an English merchant, to whom Mr. Swan entrusted it.  I believe
he starts for England by the first steam-boat.

I have the honour to remain, Revd. and dear Sir, sincerely yours,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

P.S.--Since my last letter I have been laid up for some time with a
nervous fever, but thank God I am quite recovered.  My best respects to
Mr. Brandram.  Pray excuse the haste in which this letter is written, it
will be barely in time for the post.

To the Rev. J. Jowett

                                        (_Endorsed_: recd. May 26th, 1834)
                                ST. PETERSBURG, April 28 (old style) 1834.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--Being at length able to communicate some positive
information respecting the price of the paper, which we are in need of, I
lose no time in doing so.  The day after I despatched my last epistle,
which I hope you have received, I was favoured with a communication from
the director of the Peterhof Fabrik or Manufactory, a gentleman who
amongst other titles bears that of Councillor of State.  He was kind
enough to say that I should have the 50 reams of paper which remained,
and which I before alluded to, at 75 roubles per ream; but that if any
more were necessary, one hundred roubles per ream would be required, and
not any reduction would be made.  You may easily guess that I was
somewhat startled at this piece of information, for upon making a
calculation I found that one ream of paper would be little more than
sufficient for two copies of the entire Mandchou New Testament.  There
are 480 sheets in a Russian ream, and I suppose that our book will
consist of seven parts, each containing about the same number of sheets
as the printed Mandchou Gospel of St. Matthew.  Now that Gospel contains
31 sheets, and 31 multiplied by 7 amounts to 211 [_sic_], which
multiplied by 2 makes 422 sheets, leaving only a surplus of 58.
Therefore the paper necessary for 1000 copies only would amount to about
450 reams, the price of which, after allowance had been made for the 50
reams at 75 roubles, would exceed 40,000 roubles.  The next day I hired a
calash, and spent the best part of a week in causing myself to be driven
to all the places in the vicinity of Petersburg where paper is made.
Knowing but too well that it is the general opinion of the people of this
country that Englishmen are made of gold, and that it is only necessary
to ask the most extravagant price for any article in order to obtain it,
I told no person, to whom I applied, who I was, or of what country; and I
believe I was supposed to be a German.  In some places I had now the
pleasure of hearing that I could have the paper at 60 roubles per ream.
At last I came to a person whom, after having informed him that I was in
need of a very great quantity, perhaps a thousand reams or more, I beat
down from 50 to 40 roubles, from 40 to 35, and it is probable that I may
be able to obtain a large quantity at 30.  I must inform you that I also
employed two agents, and we three going various ways have ascertained
that the necessary paper may be procured for between 30 and 40 roubles
per ream, paper of as good a quality--nay, better than that on which the
Gospel of St. Matthew was printed, and that for which 100 roubles were
demanded at Peterhof.  It is therefore now time for the Committee to come
to a decision respecting the number of copies to be printed, and I wish
it to be borne in mind that the price of the paper per ream in some
degree depends upon the quantity required.  I do not think it possible to
obtain any where paper of a similar quality at a less price than 30 or 35
roubles; for the specimens which I have obtained are very beautiful, and
a work printed on such paper need not be ashamed to show its face amongst
the most fastidious Tartars and Chinese.  To print the Testament on
common paper would certainly not be advisable, as in that case the
probability is that notwithstanding the reverence of those singular
people for written or printed characters, the sacred volume, if put into
their hands, would be destroyed.

I am in conformity with your expressed desire getting every thing into
readiness for commencing printing, and therefore earnestly beg for a
speedy communication, informing me how much paper I am to bespeak, and in
what manner I am to pay for it.  I must here observe that in all dealings
within Russia the purchaser must have his money ready in his hand;
consequently, if I am authorised to purchase any quantity of paper, I
must have a letter of credit upon some firm here resident, that I may be
able to pay for the article immediately upon its delivery.

I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, most truly yours,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

P.S.--With respect to the paper, if purchased; would you have me deliver
the whole of it into the printer's hands at once, or should a small
apartment be hired in which to keep part of it until wanted?  In this
country the wisdom of the serpent is quite as necessary as the innocence
of the dove.

To J. Thornton, Esq.

                                       (_Endorsed_: recd. July 22nd, 1834)
                                      ST. PETERSBURG, _June_ 27_th_, 1834.

SIR,--Having drawn upon Messrs. Simondsen and Company of St. Petersburg
for the sum of 2000 roubles (two thousand roubles) as a deposit upon an
order for 450 reams of Chinese paper, at _twenty-five roubles_ per ream,
I have to request that you will honour their draft to the like amount.

I remain, Sir, yours,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. J. Jowett

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--Our types are in the hands of the printer, they have
been cleaned and set in order.  St. Matthew's Gospel has been corrected,
and the work of printing commences next week.  Most truly yours,

                                                                     G. B.

To John Jackson, Esq.

                              _Octr._ 1 (old style), 1834, ST. PETERSBURG.

MY DEAR SIR,--I am exceedingly sorry that you should have had the trouble
of writing to me to no purpose; for in respect to the letter, which it
seems by your favour of the 29th ult. you committed to a private hand to
be forwarded to me, I beg leave to state that I have never received it,
or heard anything of it.  I must earnestly intreat that in future all
letters relating to business be despatched by the regular post, otherwise
great inconvenience and misunderstanding will be the result.  Private
individuals seldom give themselves the slightest trouble to deliver
letters.  If they chance to fall in with the persons for whom they are
intended--well and good! if not, the letters are flung aside and
forgotten.  In respect to the monies furnished me by our friend Mr. Tarn
for my journey I have sent an account of the disbursement on the other
side, and also of what I have expended already upon the Mandchou New
Testament, of which _St. Matthew's Gospel has been completed and St.
Mark's entered upon_.

I remain, my dear Sir, most truly yours,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To J. Tarn, Esq.,
_Under-Treasurer of the British and Foreign Bible Society_.

Account of the disbursement of certain monies received by me for my
journey to St. Petersburg in the service of the B. S.:--

Received of Mr. Tarn (if I mistake not) 30 pounds, and 7 pounds, making
together 37 pounds.

Paid for fare to Hamburg by steam-boat, diet not included, 7 pounds, 0s

For expenses of conveying myself and baggage to the custom-house wharf,
and of getting on board, 0 pounds, 6s, 0d

Carry forward, 7 pounds, 6s, 0d

Brought forward 7 pounds, 6s, 0d

Expenses on board the packet, viz. diet, servants, and baggage fees at
Stade on the Hanoverian coast, 1 pound, 9s, 0d

Expenses attending my landing at Hamburg, conveyg. baggage to the hotel,
etc., 0 pounds, 5s, 0d

Expenses on the day of my arrival, for medical advice, physic, etc.,
having been seized by severe illness, 0 pounds, 7s, 0d

Expenses during three days' sojourn at Hamburg, viz. for lodging, diet,
and _valet de place_, 1 pound, 19s, 0d

Expenses of journey to Lubeck, namely hire of calash, driver, etc., 1
pound, 10s, 0d

Expenses of two days' sojourn at Lubeck, 1 pound, 7s, 0d

Expenses for removal of baggage to the river-side and journey down the
river Trave to steam-boat at Travemunde, 0 pounds, 7s, 0d

Fare from Travemunde to St. Petersburg, diet not included, 1 pound, 0s,

For diet, servants, etc., 1 pound, 17s, 6d

Total, 27 pounds, 7s, 6d

Surplus of money, 9 pounds, 12s, 6d

From which surplus of 9 pounds, 12s. 6d. are to be deducted 7 pounds,
4s., or the salary of twelve days not drawn for, which twelve days were
spent in the journey.  The salary commencing from the hour of

Surplus due to Mr. Tarn, 2 pounds, 8s, 6d

MY DEAR SIR,--At the expiration of this quarter I shall draw for the sum
of 47 pounds, 11s. 6d. instead of the usual 50 pounds, whereby my account
with you will be liquidated.  I have, according to your suggestion when
we parted, deducted the salary of the days passed in journeying from the
money which I received from you, Messrs. Simondsen having received advice
to pay me from the day of my arrival at St. Petersburg, whereas by the
words of my agreement (see books) the salary commences from the time of
embarcation.  I believe, previous to my departure, that I accounted to
you for the sums advanced for passports.  I have had the good fortune, as
I suppose you are aware, to procure for 25 roubles per ream the paper for
which I was originally asked 60, and of which previously the very lowest
price has ever been 35.  This paper is far superior to that for which the
Society formerly paid 40 (and which was not dear at 40), being far
stronger and more glossy.  You will particularly oblige me by taking care
that Messrs. Simondsen's drafts are honored without the slightest delay.
If I were unable to pay for the paper at the stated time I should
probably be arrested, and, what would be far more lamentable, the
contract with the merchants would be broken; and upon a fresh contract I
could not obtain the paper in question for less than 60 roubles per ream,
for the winter has already come upon us, during which most of the paper
manufactories are at a stand-still, and an order for paper would be
consequently given under every possible disadvantage.  I have forwarded,
according to your desire, an account of the sums of money hitherto drawn
for, and of the manner in which they have been disbursed.  I intended to
have reserved my account for Christmas, by which season I hope, with the
blessing of God, to have brought out the four Gospels.  Excuse these
hasty lines, and believe me, dear Sir, ever yours,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. J. Jowett

                                       (_Endorsed_: recd. Nov. 10th, 1834)
                               ST. PETERSBURG, _Oct._ 8 [old style], 1834.

I have just received your most kind epistle, the perusal of which has
given me both pain and pleasure--pain that from unavoidable circumstances
I have been unable to gratify eager expectation, and pleasure that any
individual should have been considerate enough to foresee my situation
and to make allowance for it.  The nature of my occupations during the
last two months and a half has been such as would have entirely unfitted
me for correspondence, had I been aware that it was necessary, which, on
my sacred word, I was not.  Now, and only now, when by the blessing of
God I have surmounted all my troubles and difficulties, I will tell, and
were I not a Christian I should be proud to tell, what I have been
engaged upon and accomplished during the last ten weeks.  I have been
working in the printing-office, as a common compositor, between ten and
thirteen hours every day during that period; the result of this is that
St. Matthew's Gospel, printed from such a copy as I believe nothing was
ever printed from before, has been brought out in the Mandchou language;
two rude Esthonian peasants, who previously could barely compose with
decency in a plain language which they spoke and were accustomed to, have
received such instruction that with ease they can each compose at the
rate of a sheet a day in the Mandchou, perhaps the most difficult
language for composition in the whole world; considerable progress has
also been made in St. Mark's Gospel, and I will venture to promise,
provided always the Almighty smiles upon the undertaking, that the entire
work of which I have the superintendence will be published within eight
months from the present time.  Now, therefore, with the premise that I
most unwillingly speak of myself and what I have done and suffered for
some time past, all of which I wished to keep locked up in my own breast,
I will give a regular and circumstantial account of my proceedings from
the day when I received your letter, by which I was authorised by the
Committee to bespeak paper, engage with a printer, and cause our type to
be set in order.

My first care was to endeavour to make suitable arrangements for the
obtaining of Chinese paper.  Now those who reside in England, the most
civilised and blessed of countries, where everything is to be obtained at
a fair price, have not the slightest idea of the anxiety and difficulty
which, in a country like this, harass the foreigner who has to disburse
money not his own, if he wish that his employers be not shamefully and
outrageously imposed upon.  In my last epistle to you I stated that I had
been asked 100 roubles per ream for such paper as we wanted.  I likewise
informed you that I believed that it was possible to procure it for 35
roubles, notwithstanding our Society had formerly paid 40 roubles for
worse paper than the samples I was in possession of.  Now I have always
been of opinion than in the expending of money collected for sacred
purposes, it behoves the agent to be extraordinarily circumspect and
sparing.  I therefore was determined, whatever trouble it might cost me,
to procure for the Society unexceptionable paper at a yet more reasonable
rate than 35 roubles.  I was aware, that an acquaintance of mine, a young
Dane, was particularly intimate with one of the first printers of this
city, who is accustomed to purchase vast quantities of paper every month
for his various publications.  I gave this young gentleman a specimen of
the paper I required, and desired him (he was under obligations to me) to
enquire of his friend, _as if from curiosity_, the least possible sum per
ream at which the _printer himself_ (who from his immense demand for
paper should necessarily obtain it cheaper than any one else) could
expect to purchase the article in question.  The answer I received within
a day or two was 25 roubles.  Upon hearing this I prevailed upon my
acquaintance to endeavour to persuade his friend to bespeak the paper at
25 roubles, and to allow me, notwithstanding I was a perfect stranger, to
have it at that price.  All this was brought about.  I was introduced to
the printer, Mr. Pluchard, by the Dane, Mr. Hasfeldt, and between the
former gentleman and myself a contract was made to the effect that by the
end of October he should supply me with 450 reams of Chinese paper at 25
roubles per ream, the first delivery to be made on the 1st of August; for
as my order was given at an advanced period of the year, when all the
paper manufactories were at full work towards the executing of orders
already received, it was but natural that I should verify the old
apophthegm, 'Last come, last served.'  As no orders are attended to in
Russia unless money be advanced upon them, I deposited in the hands of
Mr. Pluchard the sum of 2000 roubles, receiving his receipt for that

Having arranged this most important matter to my satisfaction, I turned
my attention to the printing process.  I accepted the offer of Messrs.
Schultz and Beneze to compose and print the Mandchou Testament at the
rate of 25 roubles per sheet, and caused our fount of type to be conveyed
to their office.  I wish to say here a few words respecting the state in
which these types came into my possession.  I found them in a kind of
warehouse, or rather cellar.  They had been originally confined in two
cases; but these having burst, the type lay on the floor trampled amidst
mud and filth.  They were, moreover, not improved by having been immersed
within the waters of the inundation of '27 [1824].  I caused them all to
be collected and sent to their destination, where they were purified and
arranged--a work of no small time and difficulty, at which I was obliged
to assist.  Not finding with the type what is called 'Durchschuss' by the
printers here, consisting of leaden wedges of about six ounces weight
each, which form the spaces between the lines, I ordered 120 pounds
weight of those at a rouble a pound, being barely enough for three
sheets.  I had now to teach the compositors the Mandchou alphabet, and to
distinguish one character from another.  This occupied a few days, at the
end of which I gave them the commencement of St. Matthew's Gospel to
copy.  They no sooner saw the work they were called upon to perform than
there were loud murmurs of dissatisfaction, and . . . [four Russian
words] which means 'It is quite impossible to do the like,' was the
cry--and no wonder.  The original printed Gospel had been so interlined
and scribbled upon by the author in a hand so obscure and irregular,
that, accustomed as I was to the perusal of the written Mandchou, it was
not without the greatest difficulty that I could decipher the new matter
myself.  Moreover, the corrections had been so carelessly made that they
themselves required far more correction than the original matter.  I was
therefore obliged to be continually in the printing-office, and to do
three parts of the work myself.  For some time I found it necessary to
select every character with my own fingers, and to deliver it to the
compositor, and by so doing I learnt myself to compose.  We continued in
this way till all our characters were exhausted, for no paper had
arrived.  For two weeks and more we were obliged to pause, the want of
paper being insurmountable.  At the end of this period came six reams;
but partly from the manufacturers not being accustomed to make this
species of paper, and partly from the excessive heat of the weather which
caused it to dry too fast, only one ream and a half could be used, and
this was not enough for one sheet; the rest I refused to take, and sent
back.  The next week came fifteen reams.  This paper, from the same
causes, was as bad as the last.  I selected four reams, and sent the rest
back.  But this paper enabled us to make a beginning, which we did not
fail to do, though we received no more for upwards of a fortnight, which
caused another pause.  At the end of that time, owing to my pressing
remonstrances and entreaties, a regular supply of about twelve reams per
week of most excellent paper commenced.  This continued until we had
composed the last five sheets of St. Matthew, when some paper arrived
which in my absence was received by Mr. Beneze, who, without examining
it, as was his duty, delivered it to the printers to use in the printing
of the said sheets, who accordingly printed upon part of it.  But the
next day, when my occupation permitted me to see what they were about, I
observed that the last paper was of a quality very different from that
which had been previously sent.  I accordingly instantly stopped the
press, and, notwithstanding eight reams had been printed upon, I sent all
the strange paper back, and caused Mr. Beneze to recompose three sheets,
which had been broken up, at his own expense.  But this caused the delay
of another week.

This last circumstance made me determine not to depend in future for
paper on one manufactory alone.  I therefore stated to Mr. P[luchard]
that, as his people were unable to furnish me with the article fast
enough, I should apply to others for 250 reams, and begged him to supply
me with the rest as fast as possible.  He made no objection.  Thereupon I
prevailed upon my most excellent friend, Baron Schilling, to speak to his
acquaintance, State-Councillor Alquin, who is possessed of a paper
manufactory, on the subject.  M. Alquin, as a personal favour to Baron
Schilling (whom, I confess, I was ashamed to trouble upon such an affair,
and should never have done so had not zeal for the _cause_ induced me),
consented to furnish me with the required paper on the same terms as Mr.
P.  At present there is not the slightest risk of the progress of our
work being retarded--at present, indeed, the path is quite easy; but the
trouble, anxiety, and misery which have till lately harassed me, _alone_
in a situation of great responsibility, have almost reduced me to a

My dearest Sir, do me the favour to ask our excellent Committee, Would it
have answered any useful purpose if, instead of continuing to struggle
with difficulties and using my utmost to overcome them, I had written in
the following strain--and what else could I have written if I had written
at all?--'I was sent out to St. Petersburg to assist Mr. Lipoftsoff in
the editing of the Mandchou Testament.  That gentleman, _who holds three
important situations under the Russian Government_, _and who is far
advanced in years_, has neither time, inclination, or eyesight for the
task, and I am apprehensive that my strength and powers unassisted are
incompetent to it' (praised be the Lord, they were not!), 'therefore I
should be glad to return home.  Moreover the compositors say that they
are unaccustomed to compose in an unknown tongue from such scribbled and
illegible copy, and they will scarcely assist me to compose.  Moreover
the working printers say (several went away in disgust) that the paper on
which they have to print is too thin to be wetted, and that to print on
dry requires a two-fold exertion of strength, and that they will not do
such work for double wages, for it ruptures them.'  Would that have been
a welcome communication to the Committee?  Would that have been a
communication suited to the public?  I was resolved 'to do or die,' and,
instead of distressing and perplexing the Committee with complaints, to
write nothing until I could write something perfectly satisfactory, as I
now can; and to bring about that result I have spared neither myself nor
my own money.  I have toiled in a close printing-office the whole day,
during 90 degrees of heat, for the purpose of setting an example, and
have bribed people to work whom nothing but bribes would induce so to do.

I am obliged to say all this in self-justification.  No member of the
Bible Society would ever have heard a syllable respecting what I have
undergone but for the question, 'What has Mr. Borrow been about?'  I hope
and trust that question is now answered to the satisfaction of those who
do Mr. Borrow the honour to employ him.  In respect to the expense
attending the editing of such a work as the New Testament in Mandchou, I
beg leave to observe that I have obtained the paper, the principal source
of expense, at fifteen roubles per ream less than the Society paid
formerly for it--that is to say, at nearly half the price.

As St. Matthew's Gospel has been ready for some weeks, it is high time
that it should be bound; for if that process be delayed, the paper with
be dirtied and the work injured.  I am sorry to inform you that
book-binding in Russia is incredibly dear, and that the expenses
attending the binding of the Testament would amount, were the usual
course pursued, to two-thirds of the entire expenses of the work.
Various book-binders to whom I have applied have demanded one rouble and
a half for the binding of every section of the work, so that the sum
required for the binding of one Testament alone would be twelve roubles.
Dr. Schmidt assured me that one rouble and forty copecks, or, according
to the English currency, fourteenpence halfpenny, were formerly paid for
the binding of every individual copy of St. Matthew's Gospel.  I pray
you, my dear Sir, to cause the books to be referred to, for I wish to
know if that statement be correct.  In the meantime arrangements have
been made, and the Society will have to pay for each volume of the
Testament the comparatively small sum of forty-five copecks, or fourpence
halfpenny, whereas the usual price here for the most paltry covering of
the most paltry pamphlet is fivepence.  Should it be demanded how I have
been able to effect this, my reply is that I have had little hand in the
matter.  A nobleman, who honours me with particular friendship, and who
is one of the most illustrious ornaments of Russia and of Europe, has, at
my request, prevailed on his own book-binder, over whom he has much
influence, to do the work on these terms.  That nobleman is Baron

Commend me to our most respected Committee.  Assure them that in whatever
I have done or left undone, I have been influenced by a desire to promote
the glory of the Trinity and to give my employers ultimate and permanent
satisfaction.  If I have erred, it has been from a defect of judgment,
and I ask pardon of God and them.

In the course of a week I shall write again, and give a further account
of my proceedings, for I have not communicated one-tenth of what I have
to impart; but I can write no more now.  It is two hours past midnight.
The post goes away to-morrow, and against that morrow I have to examine
and correct three sheets of St. Mark's Gospel, which lie beneath the
paper on which I am writing.  With my best regards to Mr. Brandram, I
remain, dear Sir, most truly yours,

                                                                G. BORROW.

_P.S._--I wrote to Mr. Jackson and Mr. Tarn last week.

To the Rev. J. Jowett

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. Nov. 14, 1834)
                           ST. PETERSBURG, _Oct._ 13_th_ (old style) 1834.

REVEREND AND DEAR SIR,--In pursuance of the promise given in my epistle
of last week, which I trust in the Lord you have received, I again
address you.  In the first place I must intreat you to peruse and to read
to the Committee the enclosed Latin certificate penned by Mr. Lipoftsoff,
a gentleman as little inclined to be prodigal of praise, as was of old
the learned Scaliger himself, to whom in many points indeed, he bears no
faint resemblance.  In the second place, I must inform you that a few
hurried lines are all that I can afford to write at present; my proof
sheets are rushing in so fast that time is exceedingly precious to me,
and I grudge every moment that is not devoted to my Maker or to my great

Before this letter reaches you St. Mark's Gospel will have passed through
the press.  The two remaining Gospels will be printed before the arrival
of Christmas, and by the first of May the entire New Testament, in the
Mandchou language, will have been published.  I wish this intelligence to
be communicated to the public, who are at liberty, provided the Lord does
not visit me with some heavy affliction, to hold me culpable, if my
assertion is belied by the event.

It is true that were I to pursue the common practice of editors, it would
be impossible to complete the work in less than two years; the quantity
of proofs, successively required for every sheet, fail not, in general,
to retard the progress of all such undertakings.  My beloved friend Mr.
Swan published in this city a small tract in Mongolian; he found that it
was absolutely necessary to demand six proofs of every sheet, for in the
second, nay the third proof, there were frequently as many errors as in
the first, from the compositors not being able properly to read the
corrections.  But I never entrust the task of making alterations in the
press to other hands than my own.  Having corrected the first proof at
home, I proceed to the printing office and rectify all errors myself.  I
consequently never require more than two proofs; the second, which I
generally show to Mr. Lipoftsoff, is frequently faultless.  I am so
perfectly convinced of the excellence of this plan, that it is my firm
intention to pursue it in whatever foreign, or even English works, it may
be my destiny to edit.

I wish now to say a few words upon a subject, on which I have previously
said something.  At the present moment my principal inducement to such a
step is the observation every now and then made to me, both by Christians
and no Christians, namely: 'You are printing Testaments for which you
will never find readers.  Do not tell us that you can distribute them at
Canton and its environs, or on the coasts of China; there are not ten
individuals amongst a million of the aboriginal Chinese, and such
constitute the inhabitants of Canton, of the coasts and of the isles, who
understand the language in which your Testaments are printed.  If you
wish for readers you must seek them amongst the masters of Pekin and the
fierce hordes of desert Tartary; but what means do you possess for
introducing them to Tartary or Pekin?'  I stated in a former letter that
the town of Kiachta, upon the northern frontier of China, appeared to me
to be in many respects a suitable head-quarters for any person on whom
might devolve the task of endeavouring to supply the Mandchou Tartars
with the word of life in their own language.  I am still of opinion, and
so are many individuals much more experienced than myself, that if a
passport could be obtained from the Russian Government, the Bible Society
would do well in despatching an agent to Kiachta, to see what might be
done at, or rather from, that place in the great cause.  Kiachta is
little more than 800 miles from Pekin, and not more than half that
distance from Manjuria; he might therefore, trusting in the Lord, not
unreasonably hope to be able to penetrate to the Tartar of the capital
and the desert.  True it is that his undertaking would not 'come within
the limits of safe and prudent speculation.'  But is it possible for a
plan to come within the limits of safe speculation, which has in view the
conversion of the Tartar?  Far be it from me to advise that the entire
stock of Testaments be hazarded in such an enterprise; 200 is the extreme
number which should be ventured, the others shipped for England, for a
seizure upon the agent and his books would be no improbable event.  I am
a person of few words, and will therefore state without circumlocution
that I am willing to become that agent.  I speak Russ, Mandchou, and the
Tartar or broken Turkish of the Russian steppes, and have also some
knowledge of Chinese, which I might easily improve at Kiachta, half of
the inhabitants of which town are Chinamen.  I am therefore not
altogether unqualified for such an adventure.  Were the attempt to be
made, the winter of the ensuing year would be the proper time for
starting, because the book will not be ready before next spring, and the
expenses of a summer journey would be enormous.

A few days since, upon taking leave of Prince Abbas Khoulgi, who has
departed from this place to his patrimonial territories, near the
Caucasus, I presented him with a Testament in the Russian-Tartar
language, which is his native tongue.  He is without one exception the
most interesting man I have ever met.  Though by religion a Mahometan he
is totally divested of the blind bigotry which so peculiarly
characterises the followers of the Camel-driver-warrior-pseudo-prophet,
but on the contrary is possessed of a mind ever restless in the pursuit
of truth, and which will doubtless eventually lead him to the narrow path
which leadeth unto salvation.  The Testament which he received from me
was the very last, in the Tartar language, which remained in the shop at
which are sold the publications of what was once the Russian Bible
Society.  It is a sad fact that though there are upwards of three
thousand Tartars in St. Petersburg, most of whom can read and write the
Turkish dialect which they speak, not one Testament is at hand suited to
their understandings.  I have formed many acquaintances among these most
singular people, whose language I have acquired, during my residence in
the Russian capital, chiefly from conversing with my servant Mahomet
Djaffier, a native of Bucharia, son of the Iman or Mahometan priest of
this place.  Notwithstanding the superstition and fanaticism of these men
I am much attached to them; for their conscientiousness, honesty, and
fidelity are beyond all praise.  They stand in strong contrast with the
lower orders of the Russians, a good-natured, lowly-vicious, wavering
race, easily excited, easily soothed; whilst the former are sedate,
sober, temperate beings, with minds like Egyptian granite, from which it
is no easy matter to efface an impression, once made.  How lamentable
that such people should in the all-important matter of religion have
embraced error instead of truth; what ornaments they would prove at the
present day to Christianity, if, instead of Mahometanism, Christianity
had originally come in their way!  Of a surety they would reflect much
more lustre on the religion of Christ than millions whose deeds and
behaviour are more worthy of the followers of the impostor than of Him
'in whose mouth was found no craft or subtlety.'

I have much more to write and wish so to do, but I have really no time.
It is probable that you will not hear from me again before Christmas (old
style), but I entreat _you_ to inform me as soon as possible whether my
proceedings give satisfaction or not; but I must here take the liberty of
stating that if I were moved one inch from my own course, the
consequences might prove disastrous to the work, as I should instantly
lose all power of exertion.  I want no assistance but that of God, and
will accept of none.  Pray, I beseech you, that _That_ be granted.

You would, my dear Sir, be conferring a great favour upon me, if you
would so far trouble yourself as to write a few lines to my venerated
friend Mr. Cunningham of Lowestoft, informing him that I am tolerably
well, and that the work is going on most prosperously.

I remain, Reverend and dear Sir,

Your most humble and obliged servant,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

P.S.--Baron Schilling wishes to have a Chinese Testament of the large
edition: pray, send one if possible, and direct it to me at the Sarepta
House.  Be particular to remember that it must be of the large edition,
for he has one of the small already in his possession.  He wishes
likewise to have Gutzlaff and Lindsay's Voyages.

_Enclosed in the letter is the following certificate_.


Dominum Burro ab initio usque ad hoc tempus summa cum deligentia et
studio in re Mantshurica laborasse.


To J. Tarn, Esq.

                                      ST. PETERSBURG, _Decr._ 15/27, 1834.

On the other side I send an account of the money disbursed since the
period of my last writing to you until the present moment.  In respect to
the 75 roubles charged for the reprinting of three sheets of St. Matthew,
I beg leave to observe, that after several sheets of that Gospel had been
printed, after the same manner as that adopted in the first edition, Mr.
Lipoftsoff, the Censor, gave me notice that he had determined that the
position of the vowel-points should be altered; and I did not think
proper to make any opposition.  But as common-sense informed me that it
was by no means expedient to exhibit two systems of pointing in the same
work, I subsequently caused the first sheets to be reprinted.  I think it
necessary to offer this short explanation to prevent any
misunderstanding; for this superfluous expense must be attributed to the
Censor's not knowing originally his own mind, and not to any negligence
on my part.  I am so pressed for time that I have not been able to refer
to my last account, which lies buried amongst the ocean of my papers, and
in stating that I retained in hand 123 roubles, I have merely trusted to
memory and calculation; but I am sure the Committee and yourself will
excuse my little inaccuracy, when I state my situation.  My two
compositors, whom I had instructed in all the mysteries of Mandchou
composition, are in the hospital down with the brain fever, for every
kind of sickness is at present raging in this place; and during the last
three days I have been running about in all directions in quest of people
to fill their situation, until they recover.

Thanks be to the Lord, I have discovered and engaged the person who
composed the first Mandchou Gospel of St. Matthew, ten years since; and
as next week I shall again station myself in the printing office for the
purpose of assisting and instructing, the great work will not be delayed,
and in a fortnight or ten days I trust to be able, provided an
opportunity occurs, to transmit to England copies of the four Gospels.
With my best rewards to Mr. Brandram and Mr. Jowett (whose last letter I
have received), I remain, etc.,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To J. Tarn, Esq.

                                           ST. PETERSBURG, _Feb._ 1, 1835.

The last account which I had the honour of transmitting to you detailed
expenses in the editing of the Mandchou Testament as far as the first two
sheets of St. John.  That Gospel having by the blessing of the Almighty
passed through the press, and a copy of it bound, and also copies of the
three other Gospels, having been forwarded to London, I snatch a moment
from my occupation to give an account of my late outgoings, the sums
drawn for having been considerable on account of my having many and large
bills to discharge.  When I last wrote, I retained in hand 75 roubles 50
copecks, of the sum of 3500 drawn for; since which sum I have drawn for
the separate sums of 5000 and 500 according to the books of the Sarepta
House.  I had advanced to the printer in consequence of the illness of
his compositors the sum of 250, which being deducted from the 5000 I
shall, in order to prevent confusion, take no notice of, and proceed to
give an account of the disbursement of
                                          R.            C.
                                          5575          50

11 Jany.      4125
1835, paid
for one
hundred and
reams of
paper at
25R. per
27 Dec.       450
1834, paid
for the
binding of
St. Matthew
Do. for 2     10
chests to
contain St.
Jan. 2,       200
1835, to
printer for
3, 4, 5, 6,
7, 8, 9, 10
of St. John
Do. for       60
sufft. for
6 of the 8
parts of
the Test.
Jany. 9,      150
from 10 to
16 of St.
Do. for the   4
casting of
6 large
type, for
titles, not
in Baron
colln., the
rest being
by him
Do. 16.       150
From 16 to
22 of St.
Do. 22. To    450
for bindg.
St. Mark's
Chests        10
Do. 22,. 22   112           50            5721          50
to 26 and a
half of St.
The Society                               146R.         0C.
at the
indebted to

Should you discover at any time any inaccuracy in the accounts which I
transmit, you will much oblige me by instantly making me acquainted with
the same, in order that a satisfactory explanation may be given.  The
sacrifice of time to the correction of the manuscript and proof-sheets
scarcely allows me a moment's leisure, and I am moreover compelled to
superintend the printers and book-binders, for everything goes wrong
without a strict surveillance.

By the time these lines reach you the Acts of the Apostles (the Lord
willing) will have passed through the press.  Next week I hope to write
to the Revd. J. Jowett.

I remain, etc.,

                                                                G. BORROW.

P.S.--I believe that the seven shillings may be accounted for in this
manner.  I charged seven _pounds_ for my passage to Hamburg, whereas I
paid seven _guineas_.

To the Rev. J. Jowett

                                       (_Endorsed_: recd.  March 23, 1835)
                            ST. PETERSBURG, _Febry._ 20 [old style], 1835.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I take advantage of the period of the Russian
Carnival, during which all business is at a stand-still, to transmit to
you some account of the manner in which I have been engaged, since the
time when I last addressed myself to you.  True it is, that I have not
much to communicate; for the history of one day is that of a week, and a
month; and when I state that the printing of the Mandchou New Testament
is advancing rapidly to a conclusion, I shall have stated all I can of
much importance; but as you and our excellent friends at home have a
right to demand particulars, I will endeavour to be as particular as lies
within my power.

About a month since I placed in the hands of Baron Schilling bound copies
of the first four parts of the Testament, the Gospels; he having kindly
promised to cause them to be conveyed to London by one of the couriers
belonging to the Foreign Department, to which the Baron is attached.  I
have reason to believe, however, that you have not received them yet, as
I have been informed that they remained in Petersburg some weeks after
they had been deposited in the Foreign Office; but in this respect I am
not culpable; and having no direct means of sending packets to London, I
am glad to embrace any which may come in my way, especially those not
attended with expense to the Society.  In the mean time, I wish to inform
you that I am at present occupied on the last sheets of the fifth volume
of the Testament, namely, the Acts of the Apostles, in getting which
through the press I have experienced much difficulty, partly from the
illness of my compositors, and partly from the manner in which the
translation was originally executed, which has rendered much modification
highly necessary.

How I have been enabled to maintain terms of friendship and familiarity
with Mr. Lipoftsoff, and yet fulfil the part which those who employ me
expect me to fulfil, I am much at a loss to conjecture; and yet such is
really the case.  It is at all times dangerous to find fault with the
style and composition of authors and translators, even when they come to
your door to ask for your advice and assistance.  You may easily conceive
then, that my situation has been one of treble peril.  Mr. L. is the
Censor of his own work, and against the Censor's fiat in Russia there is
no appeal; he is moreover a gentleman whom the slightest contradiction
never fails to incense to a most incredible degree; and being a strict
member of the Greek Sclavonian Church, imagines that the revealed word
and will of the Supreme are only to be found in the Sclavonian
Scriptures, from which he made his Mandchou version.  Yet whenever
anything has displeased me in his translation, I have frankly told him my
opinion; and in almost every instance (and the instances have been
innumerable: for in translations of the sacred writings omissions and
additions must ever be avoided) he has suffered himself to be persuaded
to remodel what he originally concluded to be perfect, and which perhaps
he still does.  So that in what has been hitherto printed of the
Testament, there is little, if any thing, with which any one but a
professed caviller can find fault.

I confess that in one instance I have not been able to carry my point;
though I assure you that I did not yield until I found that it was
absolutely of no avail to offer any further opposition.  For although I
was convinced that Mr. L. was wrong, and I think when I state the
particulars that you will be of my opinion, he had on his side the
Chinese scholars of St. Petersburg, Baron Schilling amongst the rest, and
moreover being Censor he could have prohibited the work from proceeding
if I had been too obstinate.  I will tell you the ground of dispute; for
why should I conceal it?  Mr. L., amongst what he called his improvements
of the translation, thought proper, when the Father Almighty is
addressed, to erase the personal and possessive pronouns _thou_ or
_thine_, as often as they occur, and in their stead to make use of the
noun as the case may require.  For example, 'O Father, thou art
merciful,' he would render, 'O Father! the Father is merciful'; 'Our
Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name,' by 'Our . . . may the
name of the Father be made holy, may the kingdom of the Father come, may
the will of the Father be done on earth,' etc.  I of course objected to
this, and enquired what reason he had for having recourse to so much
tautology.  He replied that he had the best of reasons; for that amongst
the Chinese and Tartars none but the dregs of society were ever addressed
in the second person; and that it would be most uncouth and indecent to
speak to the Almighty as if He were a servant or a slave.  I told him
that Christians, when they address their Creator, do not address Him as
if He were a great gentleman or illustrious personage, but rather as
children their father, with a mixture of reverence and love; and that
this mixture of reverence and love was one of the most characteristic
traits of Christianity.  But he said that in China children never address
their parent in this manner; and that it was contrary to all received
usage; and that in speaking to a parent the children observe the same
respectful formula of phraseology as in addressing an Emperor or Viceroy.
I then observed that our object in sending the Bible into China was not
to encourage the Chinese in any of their customs or observances, but
rather to wean them from them; and that however startling any expression
in the Bible might prove to them at first, it was our hope and trust that
it would eventually cease to be disagreeable and extraordinary, and that
the Chinese were at present in a state which required stirring and
powerful medicine, medicine which must necessarily be disagreeable to the
palate to prove beneficial in another quarter.  However, he said that I
talked '_pustota_' (emptiness or nonsense), and as he was not to be
moved, I was compelled to acquiesce with his dictum.  This occurred some
months since, and I rejoice to see in the last letter with which you
favoured me a fortuitous corroboration of my views on this subject.  I
allude to that part of your letter where you state that you do not desire
the Chinese to consider the Bible the work of a Chinese, etc.  Nor do I;
and throughout the progress of the work I have collated every sheet with
the Greek Testament, and whenever I have found anything still adhering to
the translation which struck me as not being faithful to the original, I
have invariably modified it, so that, with the exception of the one
instance above mentioned, I can safely assert that the Word of God has
been rendered into Mandchou as nearly and closely as the idiom of a very
singular language would permit.

I have now received and paid for, as you will perceive by my accompts,
495 reams of paper, which will be barely sufficient for the work, which
will consist of eight parts, instead of seven, as we at first supposed.
I take the liberty of requesting that when the books arrive you will
examine the texture of the paper on which they are printed.  Mr. L. is
exceedingly pleased with it, and says that it is superior to the paper of
the first edition of St. Matthew by at least ten roubles per ream; and
that it is calculated to endure for 200 years.  It certainly does possess
uncommon strength and consistency, notwithstanding its tenuity, and the
difficulty of tearing it is remarkable.  By my direction it received a
slight tinge of yellow, as no books are printed in China upon paper
entirely colourless.  I must be permitted to say that the manner in which
the book-binder, Mr. Lauffert, is performing his task is above all
praise; but he has been accustomed for many years to this kind of work,
the greatest part of Baron Schilling's immense collection of Chinese
works having been bound by him.  We may esteem ourselves very fortunate
in having met with a person so competent to the task, and whose terms are
so remarkably reasonable.  Any other book-binder in St. Petersburg would
have refused double the price at which he has executed this important
part of the work, and had they undertaken the affair, would probably have
executed it in a manner which would have exposed the book to the scorn
and laughter of the people for whom it is intended.

A few months since I saw Mr. Glen, the missionary from Astracan, as he
passed through St. Petersburg on his return to England.  He is a very
learned man, but of very simple and unassuming manners.  The doom which
had been pronounced upon his translation seems to have deeply affected
him; but he appears to me to labour under a very great error respecting
the motives which induced the Editorial Committee to reject his work, or
at least to hesitate upon publishing it.  He assured me that all that was
urged against it was the use, here and there, of Arabic words, which in a
language like the Persian, which on an original foundation exhibits a
superstructure nearly one moiety of which is Arabic, is unavoidable.  As
I was totally unacquainted with the facts of the case, I said nothing
upon the subject; but I now suspect, from a few words dropped in your
letter, that the objection is founded not on the use of Arabic words, but
on attempts at _improving_ or _adorning_ the simplicity of the Bible.
However this may be, there can be no doubt that Mr. Glen is a Persian
scholar of the first water.  Mirza Achmed, a Persian gentleman now living
at St. Petersburg, who resided some time at Astracan, informed me that he
had seen the translation, and that the language was highly elegant; but
whether or not the translation was faithful, and such as a translation of
the sacred volume ought to be, he of course was entirely ignorant; he
could merely speak as to the excellence of the Persian.  Mirza Djaffar
also, the Persian professor here, spoke much to the same effect.

Mr. Stallybrass, the Siberian missionary, is at present here on his way
to England, whither he is conducting his two sons, for the purpose of
placing them in some establishment, where they may receive a better
education than it is possible for him to give them in Siberia.  I have
seen him several times, and have heard him preach once at the Sarepta
House.  He is a clever, well-informed man, and in countenance and manner
much like Mr. Swan--which similarity may perhaps be accounted for by
their long residence under the same roof; for people who are in the habit
of conversing together every day insensibly assume each other's habits,
manner of speaking, and expression of countenance.  Mr. Stallybrass's
youngest son, a lad of fifteen, shows marks of talent which may make him
useful in the missionary field for which he is intended.  The most
surprising instance of precocious talent that I have ever seen, or ever
heard of, is exhibited in a young nobleman, who visits me every day.  He
is the eldest son of Count Fredro, Marshal of the Imperial Court, and
though only fourteen years of age, speaks eight languages perfectly well,
is a good Grecian and Latinist, is one of the best draftsmen in Russia,
is well acquainted with physics, botany, geography, and history, and to
crown all, has probably the most beautiful voice that ever mortal was
gifted with.  A admirable _Chrishna_ again by metempsychosis; the
religion of the family, with whom I am very intimate, is the Romish.  I
now and then attend the service of the Armenian Church, for the purpose
of perfecting myself in the language, and have formed many acquaintances
amongst the congregation: there are several very clever and very learned
Armenians in this place; one of them I will particularly mention, a
little elderly gentleman of the name of Kudobashoff, who is the best
Armenian scholar at present in existence.  He is on the eve of publishing
a work, calculated to be very interesting to us: an Armenian and Russian
Dictionary, on which he has been occupied for the space of thirty-seven
years, and which will be of the highest assistance to any future editor
of the Armenian Scriptures; and be it known, that no place in Europe,
with perhaps the exception of Venice, offers more advantages to the
editing of the A.S. than St. Petersburg.

I will now conclude, and repeat the assurance that I am ready to attempt
anything which the Society may wish me to execute; and, at a moment's
warning, will direct my course towards Canton, Pekin, or the court of the
Grand Lama.  With my best respects to Mr. Brandram, I have the honour to
remain, Revd. and dear Sir, most truly yours,

                                                                G. BORROW.

To J. Tarn, Esq.

                                             (_Endorsed_: recd. May, 1835)
                           ST. PETERSBURG, _April_ 28th [old style], 1835.

I send you an account of monies spent in the editing of the Acts of the
Apostles and the first volume of the Epistles.  I beg leave at the same
time to acknowledge the receipt of Mr. Jackson's letter.  I am sorry that
any mistake should have occurred, but the cause of the one in question
was, that at the time I last wrote to you, I was unable to refer to my
previous account; however, the mistake now stands rectified.

I take this opportunity of informing you that I shall be obliged to order
sixty or seventy more reams of paper, as the quantity which I at present
possess will not be sufficient to complete the work.  You will see the
reason of this in the account which I now send you.  In the first volume
of the Epistles there are forty-three sheets, and in the second there
will be nearly the same number; these two volumes in thickness will be
equal to three of the previous parts.  During the last month I have
experienced great difficulty in keeping the printers at work on account
of the festivals of the season, but I am glad to say that I have never
failed to obtain six sheets every week.

I have received the Revd. Mr. Jowett's letter, and shall write to him in
a few days.

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. J. Jowett

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. June 1, 1835)
                                _May_ 3, 1835 [old style], ST. PETERSBURG.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I write a few hasty lines for the purpose of
informing you that I shall not be able to obtain a passport for Siberia,
except on the condition that I carry not one single Mandchou Bible
thither.  The Russian Government is too solicitous to maintain a good
understanding with that of China to encourage any project at which the
latter could take umbrage.  Therefore pray inform me to what place I am
to despatch the Bibles.  I have had some thoughts of embarking the first
five parts without delay to England, but I have forborne from an
unwillingness to do anything which I was not commanded to do.  By the
time I receive your answer everything will be in readiness, or nearly so,
to be forwarded wherever the Committee shall judge expedient.  I wish
also to receive orders respecting what is to be done with the types.  I
should be sorry if they were to be abandoned in the same manner as
before, for it is possible that at some future time they may prove
eminently useful.

As for myself, I suppose I must return to England, as my task will be
speedily completed.  I hope the Society are convinced that I have served
them faithfully, and that I have spared no labour to bring out the work,
which they did me the honour of confiding to me, correctly and within as
short a time as possible.  At my return, if the Society think that I can
still prove of utility to them, I shall be most happy to devote myself
still to their service.  I am a person full of faults and weaknesses, as
I am every day reminded by bitter experience, but I am certain that my
zeal and fidelity towards those who put confidence in me are not to be
shaken.  Should it now become a question what is to be done with these
Mandchou Bibles which have been printed at a considerable expense, I
should wish to suggest that Baron Schilling be consulted.  In a few weeks
he will be in London, which he intends visiting during a summer tour
which he is on the point of commencing.  He will call at the Society's
House, and as he is a nobleman of great experience and knowledge in all
that relates to China, it would not be amiss to interrogate him on such a
subject.  _I again repeat that I am at command_.

In your last letter but one you stated that our noble President had been
kind enough to declare that I had but to send in an account of any
extraordinary expenses which I had been put to in the course of the work
to have them defrayed.  I return my most grateful thanks for this most
considerate intimation, which nevertheless I cannot avail myself of, as
according to one of the articles of my agreement my salary of 200 pounds
was to cover all extra expenses.  Petersburg is doubtless the dearest
capital in Europe, and expenses meet an individual, especially one
situated as I have been, at every turn and corner; but an agreement is
not to be broken on that account.

I have the honour to remain, Revd. and dear Sir, your obedient humble

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To J. Thornton, Esq.

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. July 20, 1835)
                                          ST. PETERSBURG, _June_ 15, 1835.

SIR,--Having drawn upon Messrs. Asmus, Simondsen & Compy. of St.
Petersburg for the following sums, I have to request that you will honour
this draft to a like amount,

1000 roubles (one thousand), received the 11th May.

2000 (two thousand), received at the present moment.

I take the liberty of stating that the printing of the Mandchou Testament
is brought to a conclusion, and that six of the eight parts are bound.
As soon as the other two are completed I shall take my departure for

I have the honour to remain, Sir,

Your most obedient and most humble servant,

                                                                G. BORROW.

To J. Tarn, Esq.

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. 17 Aug. 1835)
                                          ST. PETERSBURG, _July_ 16, 1835.

MY DEAR SIR,--I herewith send you a bill of lading for six of the eight
parts of the New Testament which I have at last obtained permission to
send away, _after having paid sixteen visits to the House of Interior
Affairs_.  The seventh part is bound and packed up; the eighth is being
bound and will be completed in about ten days.  It would have been ready
a month since, having been nearly six weeks in the book-binder's hands,
but he was disappointed in obtaining the necessary paper; I hope to have
shipped all off, and to have bidden adieu to Russia, at the expiration of
a fortnight.  I take this opportunity of informing you that I was obliged
to purchase additional 85 reams of paper, of every sheet of which I shall
give an account. 1020 copies of every sheet I ordered to be printed, that
we might have a full 1000 at the conclusion.  20 reams have at various
times been sent to the binder for frontings and endings to the work, and
there were 36 sheets in the seventh and 33 in the eighth part,
consequently the demand for paper is not surprising.  Since my last
drafts upon the Treasurer I have received two thousand roubles from
Asmus, Simondsen and Co., for which I shall give them a draft on my
departure when I receive my salary.  My accompt since the period of my
last writing to you, when I held in hand 518 roubles of the Society's
money, I shall deliver to you on my arrival.

I have the honour to remain, Dear Sir,

Truly yours,

                                                                G. BORROW.

Pray excuse this hasty letter, which I write from the Custom House.

To Rev. J. Jowett

                                      (_Endorsed_: recd. Sept. 14th, 1835)
                                          ST. PETERSBURG, _Aug._ 12, 1835.

As it is probable that yourself and my other excellent and Christian
friends at the Bible House are hourly expecting me and wondering at my
non-appearance, I cannot refrain from sending you a few lines in order to
account for my prolonged stay abroad.  For the last fortnight I have been
detained at St. Petersburg in the most vexatious and unheard-of manner.
The two last parts of our Testaments have been bound and ready for
shipping a considerable time, and are at present in the warehouse of a
most pious and excellent person in this place, whom the Bible Society are
well acquainted with; but I have hitherto not been able to obtain
permission to send them away.  You will ask how I contrived to despatch
the first six volumes, which you have doubtless by this time received.
But I must inform you that at that time I had only a verbal permission,
and that the Custom House permitted them to pass because they knew not
what they were.  But now, notwithstanding I obtained a regular permission
to print, and transacted everything in a legal and formal manner, I am
told that I had no right at all to print the Scriptures at St.
Petersburg, and that my coming thither on that account (I use their own
words) was a step in the highest degree suspicious and mysterious, and
that there are even grounds for supposing that I am not connected with
the Bible Society or employed by them.  To-day, however, I lost patience,
and said that I would not be trifled with any longer; that next week I
should send away the books by a vessel which would then sail, and that
whosoever should attempt to stop them would do so at his peril--and I
intend to act up to what I said.  I shall then demand my passport and
advertise my departure, as every one before quitting Russia must be
advertised in the newspapers two weeks successively.  Pray do me the
justice to believe that for this unpleasant delay I am by no means
accountable.  It is in the highest degree tormenting to myself.  I am
very unwell from vexation and disquietude of mind, and am exposed to
every kind of inconvenience.  The term for which I took my chambers is
expired, and I am living in a dirty and expensive hotel.  But there is
One above who supports me in these troubles, and I have no doubt that
everything will turn out for the best.

I take this opportunity of sending my accounts to Mr. Tarn; if there be
any inaccuracy let him excuse it, for the post hurries me.

                                                                G. BORROW.

Report of Mr. George Borrow

_To the Members of the Committee of the British and Foreign Bible

GENTLEMEN,--It is now about two years since I quitted England for St.
Petersburg in consequence of the duty which you have been pleased to
confide to my hands, namely, that of editing at the Russian capital the
New Testament in the Mandchou language which has been translated by Mr.
Lipoftsoff, at present Councillor of State and Chinese Translator at that
place, but formerly one of the members of the Russian mission at Pekin.
On my arrival, before entering upon this highly important and difficult
task, I, in obedience to your command, assisted Mr. Swan, the missionary
from Selinginsk, to complete a transcript which he had commenced some
time previous of a manuscript translation of the principal part of the
Old Testament into Mandchou executed by Puerot, who, originally a Jesuit
emissary at Pekin, passed the latter years of his life in the service of
the Russian mission in the capacity of physician.  The united labours of
Mr. Swan and myself speedily brought the task in question to a
conclusion, so that the transcript has for a considerable time been in
the possession of the Bible Society.  I will here take the liberty of
offering a few remarks upon this translation; but as the work is not at
the present moment before me, it is impossible to enter upon a critical
and minute examination of its merits.  Nevertheless, having either
transcribed or at various times perused it, I have formed a general
opinion concerning it which, though very probably a faulty one, I shall
lay before you in a few words, which at any future time I hope you will
permit me to recall, if fresh lights upon the subject compel me to
believe that my original conclusion was an erroneous one; having no doubt
that those who are embarked in so noble a cause as the propagation of The
Great Truth, will be at all times willing to excuse error when confessed,
as by the confession of error the truth becomes more glaringly manifest.

The merits of this translation are, upon the whole, of a very high order;
but it would be an untruth and an absurdity to say that it does not
exhibit defects and blemishes of a striking and peculiar kind--peculiar,
from the singular fact that those portions of the original which, being
narrative are exceedingly simple as to idea and style, have been
invariably rendered in a manner the most liable to censure, exhibiting
not only a slovenly carelessness in regard to diction, but not
unfrequently a disregard of accuracy when the slightest particle of
attention was only necessary to render the meaning which the sacred
writer endeavours to convey.  These are its greatest, and, it may perhaps
be said, its only defects; for if a regard for truth compel me to state
that the style of the translation frequently sinks far below the original
when at its lowest grade, that same regard compels me to say that in yet
more instances it rises with the same [to a degree] which I believe it is
scarcely possible for any individual with the limited powers of
uninspired man to surpass.  This soaring tendency is particularly
observable in the version of the Book of Job, which is certainly the most
beautiful, is believed by many to be the most ancient, and is confessedly
one of the most important portions of the Old Testament.  I consider
myself in some degree entitled to speak particularly of this part of the
Mandchou version in question, having frequently at the time I was engaged
upon it translated into English several of the chapters which
particularly struck me, for the purpose of exhibiting them to Mr. Swan,
who invariably sympathised with my admiration.  The translation of most
of the writings of the prophets, as far as Puerot went, has been executed
in the same masterly manner, and it is only to be lamented that, instead
of wasting much of his time and talents upon the Apocryphal writings, as
is unfortunately the case, the ex-Jesuit left behind him no Mandchou
version of Isaiah and the Psalms, the lack of which will be sensibly felt
whenever his work shall be put in a printed state into the hands of those
for whose benefit it is intended, an event most devoutly to be wished for
by all those who would fain see Christ reign triumphant in that most
extraordinary country of which the Mandchou constitutes one of the
principal languages, being used in diplomacy and at court, and being
particularly remarkable for possessing within it translations of all the
masterpieces of Chinese, Tibetian, and Brahmanic literature with which it
has been enriched since the period of the accession of the present Tartar
dynasty to the Chinese throne, the proper language of which dynasty it is
well known to be.

To translate literally, or even closely, according to the common
acceptation of the term, into the Mandchou language is of all
impossibilities the greatest; partly from the grammatical structure of
the language, and partly from the abundance of its idioms.  The Mandchou
is the only one of any of the civilised languages of the world with which
the writer of these lines has any acquaintance, whose grammar stands far
aloof from the rest in wonderful singularity; the most remarkable feature
of which is the want of some of those conjunctions generally considered
as indispensable, and which are certainly of the first utility.  The
result of this peculiarity is that such a combination of other parts of
speech must be employed as will express the idea without the aid of the
conjunction; but as these combinations are invariably and necessarily
lengthy, much more space is required in the translation of a sentence
into this language than the original occupies.  I am induced to make this
remark, which I am afraid will be considered an excursory one, from the
apprehensiveness that some, observing the translations of the Scriptures
into this language to be bulkier than the originals, might conclude that
extraneous and unnecessary matter had crept in, which a knowledge of the
above fact will prevent.

The transcript of the Mandchou Old Testament having been brought to a
conclusion and permission having been obtained to print the New at St.
Petersburg--the accomplishment of which last point was, as you are well
aware, attended with much difficulty--I set myself seriously to work upon
the principal object of my mission.  With the recapitulation of my
labours I wish not to trouble you, the various particulars having been
communicated to you in letters written at various times upon the subject.
I will content myself with observing that within ten months from the
commencement of printing, the entire work, consisting of eight volumes,
had with the blessing of the Almighty passed through the press, and, I
believe, with as few typographical errors as would have been the case had
a much more considerable portion of time been devoted to the enterprise,
which, it is true, I was in haste to accomplish, but in a manner not
calculated to render the undertaking futile nor cast discredit upon the
Society and myself [being well aware that an edition of the Scriptures
exhibiting marks of carelessness must at best be a futile work, and that
the speed with which it was executed could be no apology; as few will be
tempted to deny that no edition at all of the sacred volume in the
languages of the heathen is far preferable to one whose incorrectness
would infallibly and with some reason awaken ridicule, which, though one
of the most contemptible, is certainly one of the most efficacious
weapons in the armoury of the Prince of Darkness and the Enemy of Light,
as it is well known that his soldiers here on earth accomplish by its
means what they would never be able to effect by the utmost force of
eloquence and carnal reasoning, in the use and management of which they
are, however, by no means unskilled, as many a follower of Jesus from his
own individual experience can testify].

After the termination of my editorial task, having little to employ
myself upon whilst the two last volumes were undergoing the process of
binding, I determined upon a journey to Moscow, the ancient capital of
the Russian Empire, which differs widely from St. Petersburg in
appearance, structure, and in the manners, habits, and opinions of its
inhabitants.  I arrived there after a journey of four days.  Moscow is by
far the most remarkable city it has ever been my fortune to see; but as
it has been frequently described, and with tolerable correctness, there
is no necessity for me to enter into a particular account of all that
presented itself to my observation.  I ascended the celebrated tower of
Ivan Velike, situated within the walls of the Kremlin, from the top of
which there is a glorious view of Moscow and of the surrounding country,
and at the foot of which, in a deep hole in the earth, is the gigantic
bell which weighs 27,000 _poods_, or eight hundred and seventy thousand
pounds.  I likewise visited the splendid church of the Kremlin, and had
much conversation with the priest who is in the habit of showing its
curiosities to strangers.  He is a most intelligent and seemingly truly
pious person, and well acquainted with English spiritual literature,
especially with the writings of Bishops Taylor and Tillotson, whom he
professed to hold in great admiration; though he asserted that both these
divines, great men as they undoubtedly were, were far inferior writers to
his own celebrated countryman Archbishop Teekon, and their productions
less replete with spiritual manna--against which assertion I felt little
inclined to urge any objection, having myself perused the works of the
great Russian divine with much comfort and satisfaction, and with which I
can only regret [that] the devout part of the British public are up to
the present moment utterly unacquainted.

As one of the principal motives of my visit to Moscow was to hold
communication with a particular part of its population, which from the
accounts I had received of it had inspired me with the most vivid
interest, I did not fail shortly after my arrival to seek an opportunity
of accomplishing my work, and believe that what I have now to communicate
will be of some interest to the Christian and the philosopher.  I allude
to the people called Zigani or Gypsies, or, as they style themselves,
Rommany, of which there are several thousands in and about Moscow, and
who obtain a livelihood by various means.  Those who have been accustomed
to consider these people as wandering barbarians, incapable of
civilisation and unable to appreciate the blessings of a quiet and
settled life, will be surprised at learning that many of those in Moscow
inhabit large and handsome houses, appear abroad in elegant equipages,
and if distinguishable from the genteel class of the Russians [are] only
so by superior personal advantages and mental accomplishments.  Of this
singular phenomenon at Moscow the female Gypsies are the principal cause,
having from time immemorial cultivated their vocal powers to such an
extent that, although in the heart of a country in which the vocal art
has arrived at greater perfection than in any other part of the world,
the principal Gypsy choirs in Moscow are allowed by the general voice of
the public to be unrivalled and to bear away the palm from all
competitors.  It is a fact notorious in Russia that the celebrated
Catalani was so filled with admiration for the powers of voice displayed
by one of the Gypsy songsters, who, after the former had sung before a
splendid audience at Moscow, stepped forward and with an astonishing
burst of melody ravished every ear, that she tore from her own shoulders
a shawl of immense value which had been presented to her by the Pope, and
embracing the Gypsy compelled her to accept it, saying that it had been
originally intended for the matchless singer which she now discovered was
not herself.  The sums obtained by these performers are very large,
enabling them to live in luxury of every description and to maintain
their husbands in a princely way.  Many of them are married to Russian
gentlemen; and every one who has resided for any length of time in Russia
cannot but be aware that the lovely, talented, and domesticated wife of
Count Alexander Tolstoi is by birth a Gypsy, and was formerly one of the
ornaments of a Rommany choir at Moscow as she is now one of the principal
ornaments of the marriage state and of illustrious life.  It is not,
however, to be supposed that all the female Gypsies in Moscow are of this
high, talented, and respectable order; amongst them there are a great
number of low, vulgar, and profligate females who sing in taverns, or at
the various gardens in the neighbourhood, and whose husbands and male
connections subsist by horse-jobbing and such kinds of low traffic.  The
principal place of resort of this class is Marina Rotche, lying about two
_verses_ from Moscow, and thither I drove, attended by a
_valet-de-place_.  Upon my arriving there the Gypsies swarmed out from
their tents and from the little _tracteer_ or tavern, and surrounded me.
Standing on the seat of the _caleche_, I addressed them in a loud voice
in the dialect of the English Gypsies, with which I have some slight
acquaintance.  A scream of wonder instantly arose, and welcomes and
greetings were poured forth in torrents of musical Rommany, amongst
which, however, the most pronounced cry was: _ah kak mi toute
karmuma_--'Oh, how we love you,' for at first they supposed me to be one
of their brothers, who, they said, were wandering about in Turkey, China,
and other parts, and that I had come over the great _pawnee_, or water,
to visit them.  Their countenances exactly resembled those of their race
in England and Spain, brown, and for the most part beautiful, their eyes
fiery and wildly intelligent, their hair coal-black and somewhat coarse.
I asked them numerous questions, especially as to their religion and
original country.  They said that they believed in 'Devil,' which,
singularly enough, in their language signifies God, and that they were
afraid of the evil spirit, or 'Bengel'; that their fathers came from
Rommany land, but where that land lay they knew not.  They sang many
songs both in the Russian and Rommany languages; the former were modern
popular pieces which are in vogue on the stage, but the latter were
evidently very ancient, being composed in a metre or cadence to which
there is nothing analogous in Russian prosody, and exhibiting an internal
character which was anything but European or modern.  I visited this
place several times during my sojourn at Moscow, and spoke to them upon
their sinful manner of living, upon the advent and suffering of Christ
Jesus, and expressed, upon my taking a final leave of them, a hope that
they would be in a short period furnished with the word of eternal life
in their own language, which they seemed to value and esteem much higher
than the Russian.  They invariably listened with much attention; and
during the whole time I was amongst them exhibited little in speech or
conduct which was objectionable.

I returned to Petersburg, and shortly afterwards, the business which had
brought me to Russia being successfully terminated, I quitted that
country, and am compelled to acknowledge, with regret.  I went thither
prejudiced against the country, the government, and the people; the first
is much more agreeable than is generally supposed; the second is
seemingly the best adapted for so vast an empire; and the third, even the
lowest classes, are in general kind, hospitable, and benevolent.  True it
is that they have many vices, and their minds are overshadowed by the
gloomy clouds of Grecian superstition, but the efforts of many excellent
and pious persons amongst the English at St. Petersburg are directed to
unveiling to them the cheering splendour of the lamp of the Gospel; and
it is the sincere prayer of the humble individual who now addresses you
that the difficulties which at present much obstruct their efforts may be
speedily removed, and that from the boundless champains of Russia may
soon resound the Jubilee hymn of millions, who having long groped their
way in the darkness of the shadow of death, are at once blessed with
light, and with joyful hearts acknowledge the immensity of the blessing.

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. J. Jowett

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. Oct. 27, 1835)
                        _Oct._ 26 [1835.] WILLOW LANE, ST. GILES, NORWICH.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--Pray excuse the liberty I take in troubling you with
these lines, which I write for the purpose of informing you that I am
perfectly ready to undertake anything which yourself or Mr. Brandram may
deem expedient.  I should be most happy to explore Portugal and Spain,
and to report upon the possibility of introducing the Gospel into those
countries, provided that plan has not been given up; or to commence the
Armenian Testament forthwith, if the types are ready.  If you would so
far condescend as to return an answer as soon as it suits your
convenience, you would confer no slight obligation upon me, for I am
weary of doing nothing, and am sighing for employment.

I have the honour to remain, Revd. and Dear Sir, your most obliged and
most obedient servant,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. Oct. 28,1835)
                                          WILLOW LANE, ST. GILES, NORWICH,
                                                         27 _Octr._, 1835.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I have received your letter of the 26th, as I
suppose Mr. Jowett has received mine of the same date which I needlessly
sent.  As you ask me to favour you with my thoughts, I certainly will;
for I have thought much upon the matters in question, and the result I
will communicate to you in a very few words.  I decidedly approve (and so
do all the religious friends whom I have communicated it to) of the plan
of a journey to Portugal, and am sorry that it has been suspended, though
I am convinced that your own benevolent and excellent heart was the
cause, unwilling to fling me into an undertaking which you supposed might
be attended with peril and difficulty.  Therefore I wish it to be clearly
understood that I am perfectly willing to undertake the expedition, nay,
to extend it into Spain, to visit the town and country, to discourse with
the people, especially those connected with institutions for infantine
education, and to learn what ways and opportunities present themselves
for conveying the Gospel into those benighted countries.  I will moreover
undertake, with the blessing of God, to draw up a small volume of what I
shall have seen and heard there which cannot fail to be interesting, and
if patronised by the Society will probably help to cover the expenses of
the expedition.

On my return I can commence the Armenian Testament, and whilst I am
editing that, I may be acquiring much vulgar Chinese from some unemployed
Lascar or stray Cantonman whom I may pick up upon the wharves; and
then--to China.  I have no more to say, for were I to pen twenty pages,
and I have time enough for so doing, I could communicate nothing which
would make my views more clear.  Many thanks to you for enclosing the
letter from St. Petersburg: it was written in Danish, and came from a
very dear and excellent friend who rendered me in Russia services of no
common nature.

I have the honour to be, Revd. and Dear Sir, your most obedient servant,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

P.S.--There has been a Bible meeting at Oulton in Suffolk, to which I was
invited.  The speaking produced such an effect that some of the most
vicious characters in the neighbourhood have become weekly subscribers to
the Branch Society.  So says the _Chronicle_ of Norfolk in its report.

To the Rev. J. Jowett

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. Dec. 8, 1835)
                                                   LISBON, 30 _Nov._ 1835.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I arrived safe at Lisbon on the twelfth of the
present month after a passage which, considering the season in which it
was made, may be termed a fair one.  On the morning of the tenth we found
ourselves about two leagues from the coast of Galicia, whose lofty
mountains gilded by the rising sun presented a magnificent appearance.
We soon passed Cape Finisterre, and standing farther out to sea speedily
lost sight of land.  On the morning of the eleventh the sea was very
rough, and a most remarkable circumstance occurred.  I was on the
forecastle, discoursing with two of the sailors, [and] one of them who
had just left his hammock told me that he had had a most disagreeable
dream, for, said he, pointing up to the mast, 'I dreamt that I fell into
the sea from off the cross-trees.'  He was heard to say this by several
of the crew besides myself.  A moment after, the captain of the vessel,
perceiving that the squall was increasing, ordered the topsails to be
taken in, whereupon this man with several others instantly ran up aloft.
The yard was presently loosened, and in the act of being hauled down,
when a violent gust of wind whirled it round with violence, and a man was
struck down from the cross-trees into the sea, which was raging and
tumbling below.  In a few moments he emerged, and I saw his head
distinctly on the crest of a wave, and I recognised in the unfortunate
man the sailor who shortly before had been relating his dream.  I shall
never forget the look of agony he cast us whilst the ship hurried past
him.  The alarm was given, and in a moment everything was in confusion.
It was at least two minutes before the vessel was stopped, and the man
was left a considerable way behind, but I still kept my eye upon him, and
could perceive that he was struggling gallantly with the waves.  A boat
was at length lowered, but the rudder unfortunately was not at hand, and
only two oars could be procured, with which the men who manned her could
make but little progress in the tremendous sea; however, they did their
best, and had arrived within ten yards of the man who had continued
struggling for his life, when I lost sight of him, and the men on their
return said that they saw him below the waters at glimpses, sinking
deeper and deeper, his arms stretched out and his body to all appearance
stiff, but they found it impossible to save him.  Presently afterwards
the sea, as if satisfied with the prey it had received, became
comparatively calm, and the squall subsided.  The poor fellow who was
drowned in this singular manner was a fine young man, twenty-seven years
of age, the only son of a widowed mother.  He was the best sailor on
board, and beloved by every one who was acquainted with him.  The event
occurred on the 11th of November 1835, the vessel was the 'London
Merchant' Steamship, commanded by Captain Whittingham.  Wonderful indeed
are the ways of Providence.

I experienced some difficulty in landing at Lisbon, the custom-house
officers being exceedingly dilatory in examining the baggage.  I had yet
more difficulty in obtaining a lodging, but at last found one, dark,
dirty, and exceedingly expensive, without attendance.  I shall not
trouble you with a description of Lisbon, for as I have much that is
important to communicate I must not waste paper with uninteresting
details.  I will merely observe that it is a noble town, situated on
seven hills on the left bank of the Tagus, the houses are very lofty,
like castles, the streets are in general precipitously steep, and no
animals of burden but mules, asses, and oxen can traverse them with
safety.  I found the streets by no means so dirty as they have been
represented, and at night they are tolerably well lighted, but between
the hours of nine and twelve they swarm with robbers and assassins.

I should have written to you before, but I wished to transmit in my first
letter a stock of information which would enable you at once to form some
idea as to the state of this country; and in order to acquire such I have
visited every part of Lisbon, entered into discourse with the people on
all occasions, and have made a journey of nearly one hundred miles about
the country, during which I visited Cintra and Mafra, at the former of
which places I remained four days, making excursions in the meanwhile on
foot or on a mule amongst the mountains, and visiting whatever villages
are contained within its beautiful and picturesque neighbourhood.

In Lisbon carelessness for religion of any kind seems to prevail.  The
people appear in general to have shaken off the old superstition and to
feel no inclination to bend their necks to another yoke.  Many of them
have told me that the priests are the veriest knaves in the world, and
that they have for many years subsisted by imposing upon them, and that
they wished the whole body was destroyed from the face of the earth.  I
have enquired of many of the lower orders whether they ever confessed
themselves, whereupon they laughed in my face and said that they had not
done so for years, demanding what good would result to them for so doing,
and whether I was fool enough to suppose that a priest could forgive sins
for a sum of money.  One day whilst speaking to a muleteer I pointed to a
cross over the gate of a chapel opposite to us, and asked him if he
reverenced it; he instantly flew into a rage, stamped violently, and
spitting on the ground said it was a piece of stone, and that he should
have no more objection to spit upon it than the stones on which he trod:
'I believe that there is a God,' he added, 'but as for the nonsense which
the priests tell us I believe no part of it.'  It has not yet been my
fortune during my researches in Lisbon to meet one individual of the
populace amongst the many I have addressed who had read the Scripture or
knew anything of its contents; though many of them have assured me that
they could read, which in many instances I have found to be the fact,
having repeatedly taken from my pocket the New Testament in Portuguese
which I constantly carry with me, and requested them to read a few
verses, which they were able to do.  Some of these individuals had read
much in their own language, which indeed contains a store of amusing and
instructive literature--for example, the chronicles of the various kings
of Portugal and of the heroes who distinguished themselves in the various
wars of India, after Vasco da Gama had opened the way into the vast
regions of the East by doubling the Cape.

Amongst the many public places which I have visited at Lisbon is the
Convent of San Geronymo, the church of which is the most beautiful
specimen of Gothic architecture in the Peninsula, and is furnished with
the richest shrines.  Since the expulsion of the monks from the various
religious houses in Portugal, this edifice has served as an asylum for
orphans, and at present enjoys the particular patronage of the young
[Queen].  In this establishment upwards of five hundred children, some of
them female, are educated upon the Lancastrian system, and when they have
obtained a sufficient age are put out to the various trades and
professions for which they are deemed most suited, the tallest and finest
of the lads being drafted into the army.  One of the boys of his own
accord became my guide and introduced me to the various classes, where I
found the children clean and neat and actively employed upon their tasks.
I asked him if the Holy Scripture (_Santa Escritura_) was placed in the
hands of the scholars.  He answered in the affirmative; but I much doubt
the correctness of his answer, for upon my requesting him to show me a
copy of the Holy Scripture, he did not appear to know what I meant by it.
When he said that the scholars read the Holy Scripture he probably meant
the vile papistical book called 'Christian Doctrine,' in which the office
of the mass is expounded, which indeed I saw in the hands of the junior
boys, and which, from what I have since seen, I believe to be a standard
school-book in Portugal.  I spent nearly two hours in examining the
various parts of this institution, and it is my intention to revisit it
in a short time, when I hope to obtain far better information as to the
moral and religious education of its inmates.

On my arrival at Lisbon I was disappointed in my expectation of finding
Mr. Wilby, who was in the country and was not expected for a week.  I
therefore had at first no person to whom I could apply for counsel as to
the best means of proceeding; but unwilling to remain idle till the
period of his arrival, I at once commenced operations at Lisbon as I have
narrated.  At the end of four or five days I started for Cintra, distant
about four leagues from Lisbon, situate on a ledge of the northern
declivity of a wild and picturesque mountain.  Cintra contains about
eight hundred inhabitants, and in its environs are many magnificent
_quintas_ or country seats of some of the first families in Portugal; it
is likewise a royal residence, for at its north-eastern side stands an
ancient palace, which though unfurnished is preserved in [good repair],
and which was the favourite residence of the ancient kings.  On one of
the ridges of [this] mountain are seen the ruins of an immense castle,
which for centuries was the stronghold of the Moors in this part of the
Peninsula.  The morning after my arrival I was about to ascend the
mountain to examine it, when I observed a person, advanced in years,
whom, by his dress, I judged to be an ecclesiastic; upon enquiry I found
in effect that he was one of the three priests of the place.  I instantly
accosted him, and had no reason to repent for so doing, for I found him
affable and communicative.  After praising the beauty of the scenery, I
made some enquiry as to the state of education amongst the people beneath
his care.  He told me that he was sorry to [say that] they were in a
state of great ignorance, that very few of them could either write or
[read], that there was no school in the place but one at which a few
children were taught the alphabet, but which was not then open, that
there was a school at Colhares, about a league [distant].  He said that
nothing so surprised him as to see English, the most learned and
intelligent people in the world, visiting a place like Cintra, where
there was no literature and nothing of utility (_aonde no ha nem
leitura_, _nem sciencia_, _nem alguma cousa que presta_).  You may easily
guess that I was in no slight degree surprised to hear a priest of
Portugal lament the ignorance of the populace, and began to entertain
hopes that I should not find the priests in general so indisposed to the
mental improvement of the people as I at first imagined.

That same day I visited Colhares, a romantic village lower down the
mountain to the west, near the sea.  Seeing some peasants collected round
the smithy I enquired about the school, and one instantly offered to be
my guide thither.  I went upstairs into a small apartment where I found
the master with about a dozen pupils standing in a row, for there was but
one chair, or rather stool, to which, after having embraced me, he
conducted me with great civility.  After some discourse he shewed me the
books which he used for the instruction of his pupils; they were
spelling-books like those used in our village schools and the
before-mentioned 'Christian Doctrine.'  Upon my enquiring whether it was
his custom to use the Scripture in his school, he told me that long
before the children had acquired sufficient intelligence to understand
the Scriptures their parents took them from school in order that they
might assist them in the labours of the field, and that in general they
were by no means solicitous that their children should learn anything, as
they considered the time occupied in acquiring learning as squandered
away.  He added that all the village schools in Portugal were supported
by the Government, but that many of them had lately been discontinued, as
the schoolmasters experienced the greatest difficulty in obtaining their
salaries; but that he had heard that it was the intention of the
Government to establish schools in all parts of the country on the
Lancastrian system--which since my return to Lisbon I have discovered to
be a fact.  He told me that he had a copy of the New Testament in his
possession, which I desired to see; but on examining it I discovered that
it was only the Epistles (from Pereira's version) with long Popish notes.
I asked him whether he considered that there was any harm in reading the
Scripture without notes; he said that there was certainly no harm in it,
but that simple people without the assistance of notes could derive but
little benefit therefrom, as the greatest part that they read would be
unintelligible to them.  Whereupon I shook hands with him, and on
departing said that there was no part of Scripture so difficult to
understand as those very notes which were intended to elucidate it, and
that the Almighty would never have inspired His saints with a desire to
write what was unintelligible to the great mass of mankind.

For some days after this I traversed the country in all directions,
riding into the fields where I saw the peasants at work, and entering
into discourse with them; and notwithstanding many of my questions must
have appeared to them very singular, I never experienced any incivility,
though they frequently answered me with smiles and laughter.  (I have now
communicated about half of what I have to say; the remainder next week.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. Jan. 10, 1836)
                               EVORA IN THE ALEMTEJO, 15_th_ _Dec._, 1835.

At length I departed for Mafra; the principal part of the way lay over
steep and savage hills, very dangerous for horses, and I had reason to
repent, before I got back to Cintra, that I had not mounted one of the
sure-footed mules of the country.  I reached Mafra in safety; it is a
large village, which has by degrees sprung up in the vicinity of an
immense building, originally intended to serve as a convent and palace,
and which next to the Escurial is the most magnificent edifice in the
Peninsula.  In this building is to be seen the finest library in
Portugal, comprising books in all sciences and languages, and which, if
not suited to the place in which the building stands, which is almost a
desert, is yet well suited to the size and grandeur of the building which
contains it.  But here are now no monks to take care of it; they have
been driven forth, some of them to beg their bread, some of them to serve
under the banners of Don Carlos in Spain, and many, as I have been
informed, to prowl about as banditti.  The place is now abandoned to two
or three menials, and exhibits an aspect of solitude and desolation which
is truly appalling.  Whilst I was viewing the cloisters an exceedingly
fine and intelligent-looking lad came up to me, and asked (I suppose in
the hope of obtaining a trifle) if I would permit him to show me the
village church, which he told me was well worth seeing.  I said 'No,' but
that if he would show me the village school, I should be much obliged to
him.  He looked at me with astonishment, and assured me that there was
nothing to be seen in the school, at which not more than half a dozen
boys were instructed, and that he himself was one of the number; but I
told him that he should show me no other place, and he at last
unwillingly attended me.  On the way he said that the schoolmaster was
one of the brothers of the convent who had lately been expelled, and that
he was a very learned man and spoke French and Greek.  We went past a
stone cross, and the boy bent and crossed himself with much devotion: I
mention this circumstance, as it was the first instance of devotion which
I had observed amongst the Portuguese since my arrival.  When near the
house where the schoolmaster resided, he pointed it out to me and then
hid himself behind a wall, where he waited till I returned.

On stepping over the threshold I was confronted by a short stout man,
between sixty and seventy years of age, dressed in a blue jerkin and grey
trousers, without shirt or waistcoat.  He looked at me sternly, and
enquired in the French language what was my pleasure.  I apologised for
intruding upon him, and stated that, being informed that he occupied the
situation of schoolmaster to the place, I had come to pay my respects to
him, and to beg to be informed respecting the manner of instruction which
he adopted.  He said that whosoever told me that he was a schoolmaster
lied, for that he was a brother of the convent.  I replied that I had
heard that all the friaries had been broken up and the brothers
dismissed; whereupon he sighed, and said it was too true.  He was then
silent for a minute, and his better nature overcoming his angry feelings
he produced a snuff-box and offered it to me.  The snuff-box is the
olive-branch of the Portuguese, and he who wishes to be on good terms
with them, or to conciliate them, must never refuse to put his finger and
thumb into it when preferred; I took therefore a large pinch, though I
detest the dust, and we were soon friendly enough.  He was eager to
obtain news, especially from Lisbon and Spain.  I told him that the
officers of the regiments at Lisbon had the day before I left that place
gone in a body to the Queen, and insisted upon her either receiving their
swords or dismissing her Ministers; whereupon he rubbed his hands and
said, 'I am sure that things will not remain tranquil at Lisbon.'  Upon
my saying that the affairs of Don Carlos were on the decline, he frowned,
and said that it could not possibly be, for that God was too just to
suffer it.  I felt for the poor man, who had been driven from his home in
the noble convent close by, and from a state of comfort and affluence
reduced in his old age to indigence and misery, for his dwelling seemed
to contain scarcely an article of furniture.  I tried twice or thrice to
induce him to converse on the school, but he always avoided the subject
or said shortly that he knew nothing about it; the idea of being a
schoolmaster was evidently humiliating to him.

On my leaving him, the boy came from his hiding-place and rejoined me; he
said his reason for hiding himself was fear that his master might know
that it was he who brought me to him, for that the old man was ashamed of
appearing in the character of a schoolmaster.  I asked the boy whether he
or his parents were acquainted with the Scripture and ever read it; but
he did not understand me.  I must here observe that the boy was fifteen
years of age, and that he was in many respects very intelligent and had
some knowledge of the Latin language; nevertheless he knew not the
Scripture even by name, and I have no doubt that at least one half of his
countrymen are, in that respect, no wiser than himself.  I have
questioned the children of Portugal at the doors of village inns, at the
hearths of their cottages, in the fields where they labour, at the stone
Mountains by the way-sides where they water their cattle, about the
Scripture, the Bible, the Old and New Testament, and in scarcely one
instance have they known what I was alluding to or could return me a
rational answer, though in all other instances I had no reason to
complain of their want of apprehension.  Indeed nothing has surprised me
more than the free and unembarrassed manner with which the Portuguese
peasantry sustain a conversation, and the purity of the language in which
they express their thoughts; and yet very few of them can write or read,
whereas the peasantry of our own country, whose education is in general
much superior, are in their conversation coarse and dull almost to
brutality, and absurdly ungrammatical in the language which they use,
though the English tongue, upon the whole, is more simple in its grammar
than the Portuguese.

On my way back from Mafra to Cintra I very nearly lost my life.  As the
night was closing in fast, we left the regular road by the advice of the
guide, and descending the hill on which Mafra stands reached the bottom
of the valley, from which there is a narrow pathway winding round the
next hill, exceedingly steep, with a precipice on the left side; the
horse on which I was mounted, and which was by no means suited for such
climbing, in his violent struggles to accomplish the ascent burst the
girth of the saddle, so that I was cast violently off, with the saddle
beneath me.  Fortunately, I fell on the right side, or I should have
rolled down the hill and probably have been killed; as it was, I remained
stunned and senseless for two or three minutes, when I revived, and with
the assistance of the guide and the man who waits on me, walked up the
remaining part of the hill, when, the saddle being readjusted, I mounted
again.  I was very drowsy and stupid for two or three days, from the
influence of the fall, but I am happy to say at present, thanks to the
Almighty, I have long ceased to feel any inconvenience from it.

On my return to Lisbon I saw Mr. Wilby, who received me with great
kindness; the next ten days were exceedingly rainy and prevented me from
making any excursions into the country, and during this time I saw him
frequently and had a good deal of conversation with him, concerning the
best means of causing God's glorious Gospel to be read in Portugal.  He
informed me that four hundred copies of the Bible and New Testament were
arrived, and he thought that we could do no better than put them into the
hands of the booksellers; but I strongly advised that at least half of
them should be entrusted to colporteurs, to hawk about, upon receiving a
certain profit on every copy they sold.  He thought the idea a good one,
as far as regards Lisbon, but said that no colporteur would venture to
carry them about the country, as the fanatical priests would probably
cause him to be assassinated.  He was kind enough to promise to look out
for people suited to make the essay in the streets of Lisbon; and as the
lower orders are very poor I wrote to Mr. Whiteley at Oporto, requesting
to be informed whether he had any objection to our selling the books to
the populace at Lisbon at a lower price than a _cruzado novo_, which he
had determined to sell them at.  I thought it but right to consult him on
the subject, as the Society are under great obligations to him; and I was
unwilling to do anything at which he could possibly take umbrage.  During
one of my conversations with Mr. Wilby I enquired which was the province
of Portugal, the population of which he considered to be the most
ignorant and benighted: he replied, 'The Alemtejo.'  The Alemtejo means
'the other side of the Tagus.'  This province is not beautiful and
picturesque like the other portions of Portugal, it has few hills or
mountains; the greatest part of it consists of heaths, broken by knolls
and gloomy dingles, swamps, and forests of stunted pine.  These places
are infested with banditti, and not a week passes by without horrible
murders and desperate robberies occurring.  The principal town is Evora,
one of the most ancient cities in Portugal, and formerly the seat of an
Inquisition far more cruel and baneful than the terrible one of Lisbon.
Evora lies about sixty miles from the farther bank of the Tagus, which is
at Lisbon three leagues broad; and to Evora I determined on going with a
small cargo of Testaments and Bibles.  My reasons I need not state, as
they must be manifest to every Christian; but I cannot help thinking that
it was the Lord who inspired me with the idea of going thither, as by so
doing I have introduced the Scriptures into the worst part of the
Peninsula, and have acquired lights and formed connections (some of the
latter most singular ones, I admit) which if turned to proper account
will wonderfully assist us in our object of making the heathen of
Portugal and Spain acquainted with God's holy word.  My journey to Evora
and my success there shall be detailed in my next letter.

                                                                G. BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. Feb. 15, 1836)
                                                Badajoz, _Janry._ 8, 1836.

An Extract from My Journal

On the afternoon of the sixth of December I set out for this place,
accompanied by my servant Anthonio.  I had been informed that the tide
would serve for the _felouks_, or passage-boats, employed in crossing the
Tagus, at about four o'clock, but on reaching the river's side opposite
Aldea Gallega, between which place and Lisbon they ply, I found that the
tide would not permit them to start before eight o'clock.  Had I waited
for them I should probably have landed at Aldea Gallega at midnight, and
I felt little inclination to make my _entree_ in the Alemtejo at that
hour; therefore as I saw small boats which can push off at any time lying
near in abundance, I determined upon hiring one of them for the passage,
though the expense would be thus considerably increased.  I soon agreed
with a wild-looking lad to take us over, who told me that he was in part
owner of one of the boats.  I was not aware of the danger in crossing the
Tagus at any time in these small boats at its broadest part, which is
between Lisbon and Aldea Gallega, but especially at close of day in the
winter season, or I should certainly not have ventured.  The lad and his
comrade, a miserable object, whose only clothing, notwithstanding the
severity of the weather, was a battered jerkin and trousers, rowed until
we had advanced about half a mile from the land; they then hoisted a
large sail, and the lad, who seemed to be the principal and to direct
everything, took the helm and steered.  The evening was now setting in;
the sun was not far from its bourne in the horizon, the air was very
cold, the wind was rising, and the waves of the noble Tagus began to be
crested with foam.  I told the boy that it was scarcely possible for the
boat to carry so much sail without upsetting; upon which he laughed, and
began to gabble in a most incoherent manner.  He had the most harsh and
rapid articulation that has ever come under my observation; it was the
scream of the hyena blended with the bark of the terrier; but it was by
no means an index of his disposition, which I soon found to be light,
merry, and anything but malevolent; for when I, in order to show him that
I cared little about him, began to hum: '_Eu que sou contrabandista_'
('I, who am a smuggler'), he laughed heartily, and clapping me on the
shoulder said that he would not drown us if he could help it.  The other
poor fellow seemed by no means averse to go to the bottom; he sat at the
forepart of the boat looking the image of famine, and only smiled when
the waters broke over the side and drenched his scanty clothing.  In a
little time I had made up my mind that our last hour was come; the wind
was becoming higher, the short dangerous waves were more foamy, the boat
was frequently on its beam-ends, and the water came over the lee side in
torrents; but still the wild lad at the helm held on, laughing and
chattering, and occasionally yelling out parts of the Miguelite air
'_Quando el Rey chegou_' ['When the King arrived'], the singing of which
in Lisbon is punished with imprisonment.  The stream was against us, but
the wind was in our favour, and we sprang along at a wonderful rate.  I
saw that our only chance of escape was in speedily getting under the
shelter of that part of the farther bank of the Tagus, where the bight or
bay commences at the extremity of which stands Aldea Gallega, as we
should not then have to battle with the waves of the adverse stream,
which the wind lashed into fury.  It was the will of the Almighty to
permit us speedily to gain this shelter, but not before the boat was
nearly filled with water, and we were all wet to the skin.  At about
seven o'clock in the evening we reached Aldea Gallega, shivering with
cold and in a most deplorable plight.

Aldea Gallega, or the Galician Village, for the two words have that
signification, is a place containing, I should think, about four thousand
inhabitants.  It was pitchy dark when we landed, but rockets soon began
to fly about in all directions, illumining the air far and wide.  As we
passed along the dirty unpaved street which leads to the _Largo_ or
square in which the town is situated, a horrible uproar of drums and
voices assailed our ears.  On enquiring the cause of all this bustle, I
was informed that it was the Eve of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin.
As it was not the custom of the people of the inn to provide provisions
for the guests, I wandered about in search of food, and at last seeing
some soldiers eating and drinking in a sort of wine-house, I went in and
asked the people to let me have some supper.  In a short time they
furnished me with a tolerable meal, for which, however, they charged two

Having engaged with a person for mules to carry us to Evora, which were
to be ready at five next morning, I soon retired to bed, my servant
sleeping in the same apartment, which was the only one in the house
vacant.  I closed not an eye during the whole night; beneath us was a
stable in which some _almocreves_, or carriers, slept with their mules,
and at our back in the yard was a hog-stye.  How could I sleep?  The hogs
grunted; the mules screamed; and the _almocreves_ snored most horribly.
I heard the village clock strike the hours until midnight, and from
midnight till four in the morning, when I sprang up and began to dress,
and despatched my servant to hasten the man with his mules, for I was
heartily tired of the place, and wished to leave it.

An old man, but remarkably bony and hale, accompanied by a bare-footed
lad, brought the beasts.  He was the proprietor of them, and intended to
accompany us to Evora with the lad, who was his nephew.  When we started
the moon was shining brightly, and the morning was piercingly cold.  We
soon entered a sandy, hollow way, emerging from which we passed by a
large edifice, standing on a high, bleak sand-hill, on our left.  We were
speedily overtaken by five or six men on horseback, riding at a rapid
pace, each with a long gun slung at his saddle, the muzzle depending
about two feet below the horses belly.  I questioned the old man as to
the cause of their going thus armed; he answered that the roads were very
bad (meaning that they abounded with robbers), and that these people
carried arms for their defence.  They soon turned off to the right
towards Palmella.

We reached a sandy plain studded with stunted pine; the road was little
more than a footpath, and as we proceeded the trees thickened and became
a wood, which extended for two leagues with clear spaces at intervals, in
which herds of cattle and sheep were feeding.  The sun was just beginning
to show itself, but the morning was misty and dreary, which together with
the aspect of desolation which the country exhibited had an unfavourable
effect on my spirits.  I got down and walked, entering into conversation
with the man.  He seemed to have but one theme of conversation, 'the
robbers' and the atrocities they were in the habit of practising in the
very spots we were passing.  The tales he related were truly horrible,
and to avoid them I mounted again and rode on considerably in front.

In about an hour and a half we emerged from the forest and entered upon
wild broken ground covered with _mato_ or brushwood.  The mules stopped
to drink at a shallow pool, and on looking to the right I saw a ruined
wall.  This, the guide informed me, was the remains of the Vendal Velhas,
or the old inn, formerly the haunt of the celebrated robber Sabocha.
This Sabocha, it seems, had, about sixteen years since, a band of forty
ruffians at his command, who infested these wilds, and supported
themselves by plunder.  For a considerable time Sabocha pursued his
atrocious trade unsuspected, and many an unfortunate traveller was
murdered, in the dead of night, at the solitary inn by the wood's side,
which he kept; indeed a more fit situation for plunder and murder I never
saw.  The gang were in the habit of watering their horses at the pool,
and perhaps of washing therein their hands stained with the blood of
their victims.  The brother of Sabocha was the lieutenant of the troop, a
fellow of great strength and ferocity, particularly famous for the skill
he possessed in darting a long knife and transfixing his opponents.
Sabocha's connection with the gang at last became known, and he fled with
the greatest part of his associates across the Tagus, to the northern
provinces.  He and his brother eventually lost their lives on the road to
Coimbra, in an engagement with the military.  His house was razed by
order of the Government.

The ruins of this house are still frequently visited by banditti, who eat
and drink amongst the stones and look out for prey, as the place commands
a view of the road.  The old man assured me that about two months
previous, on returning from Aldea Gallega with his mules from
accompanying some travellers, he had been knocked down, stript naked, and
had all his money taken from him, by a fellow who, he believed, came from
this murderers' nest.  He said that he was an exceedingly powerful young
man with immense moustaches and whiskers, and was armed with an
_espingarda_ or musket.  About ten days subsequently he saw the robber at
Vendas Novas, where we were to pass the night.  The fellow on recognising
him took him aside and threatened, with horrid imprecations, that he
should never be permitted to return home if he attempted to discover him;
he therefore held his peace, as he said there was little to be gained and
everything to be lost by apprehending him, as he would have been speedily
set at liberty for want of evidence to criminate him, and then he would
not have failed to have his revenge, or would have been anticipated
therein by his comrades.

I dismounted and went up to the place, and saw the vestiges of a fire and
a broken bottle.  The sons of plunder had been there very lately.  I left
a New Testament and some tracts amongst the ruins, and hastened away.

The sun had dispelled the mists and was beaming very hot; we rode on for
about an hour, when I heard the neighing of a horse in our rear, and our
guide said that there was a party of horsemen behind.  Our mules were
good, and they did not overtake us for at least twenty minutes.  The
foremost rider was a gentleman in a fashionable travelling dress; a
little way behind were an officer, two soldiers, and a servant in livery.
I heard the principal horseman, on overtaking Anthonio, enquiring who I
was, and whether I was French or English.  He was told I was an English
gentleman, travelling.  He then asked whether I understood Portuguese;
the man said I understood it, but that he believed I spoke French and
Italian better.  The gentleman then spurred on his horse and accosted me,
not in Portuguese, or in French, or Italian, but in the purest English
that I have ever heard spoken by a foreigner.  It had indeed nothing of
foreign accent or pronunciation in it, and had I not known by the
countenance of the speaker that he was no Englishman (for there is a
peculiarity in the English countenance which, though it cannot be
described, is sure to betray the Englishman), I should have concluded
that I was conversing with a countryman.  He continued in company and
discourse until we arrived at Pegoens.

Pegoens consists of about two or three houses and an inn; there is
likewise a species of barrack, where half a dozen soldiers are stationed.
In the whole of Portugal there is no place of worse reputation, and the
inn is nicknamed _Estalagem de Ladroens_, or the hostelry of thieves; for
it is there that the banditti of the wilderness, which extends around it
on every side for leagues, are in the habit of coming and spending the
fruits of their criminal daring; there they dance and sing, feast on
fricasseed rabbits and olives, and drink the muddy but strong wine of the
Alemtejo.  An enormous fire, fed by the trunk of a cork-tree, was blazing
in a niche on the left hand on entering the spacious kitchen; by it,
seething, were several large jars, which emitted no disagreeable odour,
and reminded me that I had not yet broken my fast, although it was now
nearly one o'clock and I had ridden five leagues.  Some wild-looking men,
who, if they were not banditti, might easily be mistaken for such, were
seated on logs about the fire; I asked them some unimportant question, to
which they replied with readiness and civility, and one of them, who said
he could read, accepted a tract which I offered him.

My new friend, who had been bespeaking dinner, or rather breakfast, now
with great civility invited me to partake of it, and at the same time
introduced me to the officer who accompanied him, and who was his
brother, and also spoke English, though not so well as himself.  I found
I had become acquainted with Don Geronimo Joze d'Azveto, Secretary to the
Government at Evora.  His brother belonged to a regiment of hussars,
whose headquarters were at Evora, but which had outlying parties along
the road; for example, at the place where we were stopping.  Rabbits at
Pegoens seem to be a standard article of food, being produced in
abundance on the moors around.  We had one fricasseed, the gravy of which
was delicious; and afterwards a roasted one, which was brought up on a
dish entire.  The hostess having first washed her hands proceeded to tear
the animal to pieces, which having accomplished she poured over the
fragments a sweet sauce.  I ate remarkably heartily of both dishes,
particularly of the last, owing perhaps to the novel and curious manner
in which it was served up.  Excellent figs from the Algarves and apples
completed our repast, which we ate in a little side room with a
mud-floor, which sent such a piercing chill into my system as prevented
me from deriving that pleasure from my good fare and agreeable companions
which I might otherwise have experienced.  Don Joze d'Azveto had been
educated in England, in which country he passed his boyhood, which to a
certain degree accounted for his proficiency in the English language, the
idioms and pronunciation of which can only be acquired by a residence in
the country at that period of one's life.  He had also fled thither
shortly after the usurpation of the throne of Portugal by Don Miguel, and
from thence had passed over to the Brazils, where he had devoted himself
to the service of Don Pedro, and had followed him in that expedition
which terminated in the downfall of the Usurper and the establishment of
the constitutional government in Portugal.  Our conversation rolled
chiefly on literary and political subjects, and my acquaintance with the
writings of the most celebrated authors of Portugal was hailed with
surprise and delight; for nothing is more gratifying to a well-educated
Portuguese than to observe a foreigner taking an interest in the
literature of his nation, of which he is so justly proud.

About two o'clock we were once more in the saddle, and pursued our way
through a country exactly resembling that which we had previously been
traversing, rugged and broken, with here and there a clump of pines.  The
afternoon was exceedingly fine, and the bright rays of the sun relieved
the desolation of the scene.  Having advanced about two leagues, I caught
sight of a large edifice in the distance, which I learnt was a royal
palace, standing at the farther extremity of Vendas Novas, the village
where we were to halt.  It was considerably more than a league from us,
yet, seen through the clear transparent atmosphere of Portugal, it
appeared much nearer.  Before reaching it, we passed by a stone cross, on
the pedestal of which was an inscription commemorating a horrible murder
of a native of Lisbon, which had been perpetrated on that spot.  It
looked ancient, and was covered with moss, and the greatest part of the
inscription was illegible, at least it was to me, who could not bestow
much time on the deciphering of it.

Having arrived at Vendas Novas and bespoke supper, my new friends and
myself strolled forth to view the palace.  It was built by the late King
of Portugal, and presents little that is remarkable in its exterior.  It
is a long edifice with wings, and is only two stories high, though it can
be seen afar, owing to its being situated on elevated ground.  It has
fifteen windows in the upper and twelve in the lower story, with a
paltry-looking door something like that of a barn, the ascent to which is
by a single step.  The interior corresponds with the exterior, offering
nothing which can gratify curiosity, if we except the kitchens, which are
indeed magnificent, and so large that food enough might be prepared in
them to serve as a repast to all the inhabitants of the Alemtejo.  I
passed the night with great comfort in a clean bed, remote from all those
noises in general so rife in a Portuguese inn, and the next morning at
six we again set out on our journey, which we hoped to terminate before
sunset, as Evora is but ten leagues from Vendas Novas.  The preceding
morning had been cold, but the present one was far more, so much so that
just before sunrise I could no longer support it whilst riding, and
therefore dismounting ran and walked until we reached a few houses, at
the termination of these desolate moors.  It was in one of these houses
that the commissioners of Don Pedro and Miguel met, and it was there
agreed that the latter should resign the crown in favour of Donna Maria;
for Evora was the last stronghold of the Usurper, and the moors of the
Alemtejo the last area of the combats which so long agitated unhappy
Portugal.  I therefore gazed on the miserable huts with considerable
interest, and did not fail to scatter in the neighbourhood several of the
precious little tracts with which, together with a small quantity of
Bibles, my carpet-bag was provided.

The country began to improve, the savage heaths were left behind, and we
saw hills and dales, cork-trees and _azineirias_, on the last of which
trees grows that kind of sweet acorn called _bolota_, which is pleasant
as a chestnut, and forms in winter the principal food on which the
numerous swine of the Alemtejo subsist.  Gallant swine they are, with
short legs and portly bodies, of a black or dark-red colour, and for the
excellence of their flesh I can avouch, having frequently partaken of it
in the course of my wanderings in this province.  The _lumbo_, or loin,
when broiled on the live embers, is delicious, especially when eaten with

We were now in sight of Monte Moro, which as the name denotes was once a
fortress of the Moors; it is a high, steep hill, on the summit and sides
of which are ruined walls and towers.  At its western side is a deep
ravine or valley, through which a small stream rushes, traversed by a
stone bridge; farther down there is a ford, through which we passed and
ascended to the town, which commencing near the northern base, passes
over the lower ridge towards the north-east; the town is exceedingly
picturesque, and many of the houses are very ancient and built in the
Moorish fashion.  I wished much to examine the relics of Moorish sway on
the upper part of the mountain, but time pressed, and the shortness of
our stay in this place did not permit me to gratify my inclination.

Monte Moro is the head of a range of hills crossing this part of the
Alemtejo, and from hence they fork towards the east and south-east, in
the former of which directions lies the direct road to Elvas, Badajoz,
and Madrid, and in the latter the road to Evora.  A beautiful mountain,
covered to the top with cork trees, is the third in the chain which
skirts the way in the direction of Evora.  It is called Monte Almo; a
brook brawls at its base, and as I passed it the sun was shining
gloriously on the green herbage, on which flocks of goats were feeding
with their bells ringing merrily, so that the _tout ensemble_ resembled a
fairy scene; and that nothing might be wanted to complete the picture, I
here met a man, a goat-herd, beneath an _azineiria_ whose appearance
recalled to my mind the Brute-man mentioned in an ancient Danish poem:

    'A wild swine on his shoulders he kept,
    And upon his bosom a black bear slept,
    And about his fingers with hair o'erhung
    The squirrel sported and weasel clung.'

Upon the shoulders of the goat-herd was a beast, which he told me was a
_lontra_ or otter, which he had lately caught in the neighbouring brook,
it had a string round its neck which was attached to his arm; at his left
side was a bag from the top of which peeped the heads of two or three
singular-looking animals; and beside him was squatted the sullen cub of a
wolf, which he was endeavouring to tame.  His whole appearance was to the
last degree savage and wild.  After a little conversation, such as those
who meet on the road frequently hold, I asked him if he could read; but
he made no answer.  I then enquired if he knew anything of God or Jesus
Christ; he looked me fixedly in the face for a moment, and then turned
his countenance towards the sun which was beginning to sink, nodded to
it, and then again looked fixedly upon me.  I believed I understood this
mute reply, which probably was, that it was God who made that glorious
light which illumines and gladdens all creation; and gratified with this
belief I left him, and hastened after my companions who were, by this
time, a considerable way in advance.

I have always found amongst the children of the fields a more determined
tendency to religion and piety than amongst the inhabitants of towns and
cities, and the reason is obvious; they are less acquainted with the
works of man's hands than with those of God; their occupations are
simple, and requiring less of ingenuity and skill than those which engage
the intention of the other portion of their fellow-creatures, are less
favourable to the engendering of self-conceit and sufficiency, so utterly
at variance with that lowliness of spirit which constitutes the best test
of piety.  The sneerers and scoffers at religion do not spring from
amongst the simple children of nature, but are the excrescences of
overwrought refinement, and though their baneful influence has indeed
penetrated to the country and corrupted many there, the fountain-head was
amongst crowded houses where nature is scarcely known.  I am not one of
those who look for perfection amongst the rural population of any
country; perfection is not to be found amongst the children of the fall,
be their abode where it may; but until the heart disbelieve the existence
of a God, there is still hope for the possessor, however stained with
crime he may be, for even Simon the Magician was converted.  But when the
heart is once steeled with infidelity, infidelity confirmed by carnal
reasoning, an exuberance of the grace of God is required to melt it,
which is seldom or never manifested; for we read in the blessed book that
the Pharisee and the Wizard became receptacles of grace, but where is
mention made of the conversion of the sneering Sadducee? and is the
modern infidel aught but a Sadducee of later date?

_To be continued_.

To the Rev. Andrew Brandram

                                       (_Endorsed_: recd. Feb. 29th, 1836)
                                                       _Journal continued_

                                             BADAJOZ, 10th _January_ 1836.

The night had closed in before we reached Evora, and having taken leave
of my friends, who kindly requested me to consider their house my home,
myself and my little party proceeded to the Largo de San Francisco, where
was a hostelry, which the muleteer informed me was the best in the town.
We rode into the kitchen, at the extreme end of which was the stable, as
is customary in Portugal.  The house was kept by an aged gypsy-like
female and her daughter, a fine blooming girl about eighteen years of
age.  The house was large; in the upper story was a very long room, like
a granary, extending nearly the whole length of the house; the further
end was partitioned off, and formed a tolerably comfortable chamber, but
rather cold, the floor being of tiles, as was that of the large room in
which the muleteers were accustomed to sleep on the furniture of their
mules.  Having supped I went to bed, and after having offered up my
devotions to Him who had protected me through a dangerous journey, I
slept soundly till the morning.

Evora is a walled town, but not regularly fortified, and could not
sustain a siege of a day.  It has five gates; before that to the
south-west is the principal promenade of the inhabitants; the fair on St.
John's Day is likewise held there.  The houses are mostly very ancient;
many of them are unoccupied.  It contains about five thousand
inhabitants, though twice that number would be by no means
disproportionate to its size.  The two principal edifices are the See or
Bishop's Palace, and the Convent of San Francisco, opposite to which I
had taken up my abode.  A large barrack for cavalry stands on the
right-hand side on entering the south-west gate.  The adjacent country is
uninteresting; but to the south-east, at the distance of six leagues, is
to be seen a range of blue hills, the highest of which is called Serra
Dorso.  It is picturesquely beautiful, and contains within its recesses
wolves and wild boars in numbers.  About a league and a half on the other
side of this hill is Estremoz.

I passed the day succeeding my arrival principally in examining the town
and its environs, and as I strolled about I entered into conversation
with various people that I met.  Several of these were of the middle
classes, shopkeepers and professional men; they were all
Constitutionalists, or pretended to be so, but had very little to say,
except a few commonplace remarks on the way of living of the friars,
their hypocrisy and laziness.  I endeavoured to obtain some information
respecting the state of instruction at Evora, and from their replies was
led to believe that it must be very low, for it seemed that there was
neither book-shop nor school in the place.  When I spoke of religion,
they exhibited the utmost apathy, and making their bows left me as soon
as possible.  Having a letter of introduction to a person who kept a shop
in the market-place, I called upon him, found him behind his counter and
delivered it to him.  I found that he had been persecuted much whilst the
old system was in its vigour, and that he entertained a hearty aversion
to it.  I told him that the nurse of that system had been the ignorance
of the people in religious matters, and that the surest means to prevent
its return was to enlighten them in those points.  I added that I had
brought with me to Evora a small stock of Testaments and Bibles, which I
wished to leave for sale in the hands of some respectable merchant, and
that if he were desirous to lay the axe to the root of superstition and
tyranny he could not do so more effectually than by undertaking the
charge of these books.  He declared his willingness to do so, and that
same evening I sent him ten Testaments and a Bible, being half my stock.

I returned to the hostelry, and sat down on a log of wood on the hearth
within the immense chimney in the common apartment.  Two men were on
their knees on the stones; before them was a large heap of pieces of
iron, brass, and copper; they were assorting it and stowing it away in
various large bags.  They were Spanish _contrabandistas_, or smugglers of
the lowest class, and earned a miserable livelihood by smuggling such
rubbish from Portugal into Spain.  Not a word proceeded from their lips,
and when I addressed them in their native language they returned no
answer but a kind of growl.  They looked as dirty and rusty as the iron
in which they trafficked.  The woman of the house and her daughter were
exceedingly civil, and coming near to me crouched down, asking various
questions about England.  A man dressed something like an English sailor,
who sat on the other side of the hearth, confronting me, said: 'I hate
the English, for they are not baptized, and have not the law' (meaning
the law of God).  I laughed, and told him, that according to the law of
England no one who was not baptized could be buried in consecrated
ground; whereupon he said; 'Then you are stricter than we.'  He then
asked: 'What is meant by the lion and the unicorn which I saw the other
day on the coat of arms over the door of the English consul at St. Uves?'
I said that they were the arms of England.  'Yes,' he replied; 'but what
do they represent?'  I said I did not know.  'Then,' said he, 'you do not
know the story of your own house.'  I answered: 'Suppose I were to tell
you that they represented the lion of Belem (Bethlehem) and the horned
monster of the flaming pit in combat as to which should obtain the
mastery in England, what would you say?'  He replied: 'I should say that
you gave a fair answer.'  This man and myself became great friends; he
came from Palmella, not far from St. Uves; he had several mules and
horses with him, and dealt in corn and barley.

I again walked out in the environs of the town.  About half a mile from
the southern wall is a stone fountain, where the muleteers and other
people approaching the town are accustomed to water their cattle.  I sat
down by it, and there I remained about two hours, entering into discourse
with every one who halted at the fountain; and I will here observe that
during the time of my sojourn at Evora I repeated my visit every day, and
remained there about the same time, and by following this plan I believe
that I spoke to near two hundred of the children of Portugal upon matters
connected with their eternal welfare.  Of those whom I addressed I found
very few had received any species of literary education; none of them had
seen the Bible, and not more than half a dozen had the slightest
knowledge of what the Holy Book consisted.  I found that most of them
were bigoted Romanists and Miguelites at heart.  When they told me they
were Christians, I denied the possibility of their being so, as they were
ignorant of Christ and His commandments, and rested their hope of
salvation in outward forms and superstitious observances which were the
inventions of Satan, who wished to keep them in darkness in order that at
last they might stumble into the pit which he had digged for them.  I
said repeatedly that the Pope whom they revered was a deceiver and the
prime minister of Satan here on earth, and that the monks and friars, to
whom they had been accustomed to confess themselves, and whose absence
they so deplored, were his subordinate agents.  When called upon for
proofs, I invariably cited the ignorance of my hearers respecting the
Scripture, and said that if their spiritual guides had been really
ministers of Christ they would not have permitted their flocks to remain
unacquainted with His word.  Since this occasion I have been frequently
surprised that I received no insult or ill-treatment from the people
whose superstitions I was thus attacking, but I really experienced none;
and am inclined to believe that the utter fearlessness which I displayed,
trusting in the protection of the Almighty, may have been the cause.
When threatened by danger the best policy is to fix your eye steadily
upon it, and it will in general vanish like the morning mist before the
sun; whereas if you quail before it, it becomes more imminent.  I have
fervent hope that the words which I uttered sunk deep into the hearts of
some of my hearers, as I observed many of them depart musing and pensive.
I occasionally distributed tracts among them, for although they
themselves were unable to turn them to much account, I thought that by
their means they might become of service at some future time, and might
fall into the hands of others to whom they might be instruments of
regeneration; as many a book which is cast on the waters is wafted to
some remote shore, and there proves a blessing and a comfort to millions
who are ignorant from whence it came.

The next day, which was Friday, I called at the house of my friend
Azveto; I did not find him there, but was directed to the Episcopal
Palace, in an apartment of which I found him writing with another
gentleman, to whom he introduced me.  It was the Governor of Evora, who
welcomed me with every mark of kindness and affability.  After some
discourse we went out together to examine an ancient edifice, which was
reported to have served in ancient times as a temple to Diana.  Part of
it was evidently of Roman architecture, for there was no mistaking the
beautiful light pillars which supported a dome, under which the
sacrifices to the most captivating and poetical divinity of the heathen
Theocracy had probably been made; but the original space between the
pillars had been filled up with rubbish of a modern date, and the rest of
the building was apparently of the architecture of the latter end of the
middle ages.  It is situated at one end of the building which was once
the seat of the Inquisition, and I was informed that before the erection
of the present See, it served as the residence of the Bishop.

Within the See, where the Governor now resides, is a superb library,
occupying an immense vaulted room, like the aisle of a cathedral, and in
a side apartment is a collection of pictures by Portuguese artists,
chiefly portraits, amongst which is that of Don Sebastian.  I hope it did
not do him justice; for it represents him in the shape of an awkward lad,
of about eighteen, with staring eyes and a bloated booby face, and
wearing a ruff round a short apoplectic neck.

I was shown several beautifully illuminated missals and other
manuscripts, but the one which most arrested my attention, I scarcely
need say why, bore the following title:--

_Forma sive ordinatio Capelli illustrissimi et xtianissimi principis
Henrici sexti Regis Anglie et Francie am diu Hibernie descipta serenissio
principi Alfonso Regi Portugalie illustri per humilem servitorem sm Willm
Sav Decanum capelli supradicti_.

It seemed a voice from the olden times of my dear native land.  This
library and picture-gallery had been formed by one of the latter Bishops,
a person of commendable learning and piety.

In the evening I dined with Don Joze d'Azveto and his brother; the latter
soon left us, in order to attend to his military duties.  My friend and
myself had then much conversation of considerable interest.  He lamented
feelingly the deplorable state of ignorance in which his countrymen were
at present buried, and said that his friend the Governor and himself were
endeavouring to establish a school in the vicinity, and that they had
made application to the Government for the use of an empty convent called
the _Espinhero_, or thorn-tree, at about a league's distance, and that
they had little doubt of their request being complied with.  I had before
told him who I was; and now, after expressing my joy at the plan which he
had in contemplation, I urged him in the most pressing manner to use all
his influence to cause the knowledge of the Scripture to be the basis of
the education of the pupils in the intended school, and added that half
of the Testaments and Bibles which I had brought with me to Evora were
heartily at his service.  He instantly gave me his hand, [and] said he
accepted my offer with the greatest pleasure, and would do all in his
power to further my views, which were in many respects his own.  I now
told him that I did not come to Portugal with the view of introducing the
dogmas of any particular sect, but with the hope of introducing the
Bible, which is the well-head of all that is useful and conducive to the
happiness of society and individuals; that I cared not what people called
themselves, provided they read the Scripture, for that where the
Scripture was read neither priestcraft nor tyranny could long exist; and
instanced my own country, the cause of whose freedom and happiness was
the Bible, and that only, for that before the days of Tyndal it was the
seat of ignorance, oppression, and cruelty, and that after the fall of
ignorance, the oppression and cruelty soon ceased, for that the last
persecutor of the Bible, the last upholder of ignorance--_the bloody and
infamous Mary_--was the last tyrant who had sat on the throne of England.
We did not part till the night was considerably advanced; and the next
day I sent him the books, in the steadfast hope that a bright and
glorious morning was about to rise upon the night which had so long cast
its dreary shadow over the regions of the Alemtejo.

The day after this interesting event, which was Saturday, I had more
conversation with the man from Palmella.  I asked him if in his journeys
he had never been attacked by robbers; he answered 'No,' for that he
generally travelled in company with others; 'however,' said he, 'were I
alone I should have little fear, for I am well protected.'  I said that I
supposed he carried arms with him.  'No other arms than this,' said he,
and he pulled out a long, desperate-looking knife of English manufacture,
like that with which every Portuguese peasant is provided, and which I
should consider a far more efficient weapon than a dagger.  'But,' said
he, 'I do not place much confidence in the knife.'  I then enquired in
what were his hopes of protection.  'In this,' he replied; and
unbuttoning his waistcoat he showed me a small bag, attached to his neck
by a silken string.  'In this bag is an _oracam_ (or prayer), written by
a person of power; and as long as I carry it about me no ill can befall
me.'  Curiosity is one of the leading features of my character, and I
instantly said that to be allowed to read the prayer would give me great
pleasure.  'Well,' he replied, 'you are my friend, and I would do for you
what I would do for few others.  I will show it you.'  He then asked me
for my penknife and proceeded to unrip the bag, and took out of it a
large piece of paper closely folded up.  I hurried with it to my chamber,
and commenced the examination of it.  It was scrawled over in a very
illegible hand, and was moreover much stained with perspiration, so that
I had considerable difficulty in making myself master of its contents;
but at last I accomplished the following literal translation of the
charm, which was written in bad Portuguese, but which struck me at the
time as being the most remarkable composition I had ever seen.

The Charm

    'Just Judge and divine Son of the Virgin Maria, who wast born at
    Bethlehem, a Nazarene, and who wast crucified in the midst of all
    Jewry!  I beseech Thee, O Lord, by virtue of Thy sixth day {137} that
    the body of me, Francisco, be not caught nor put to death by the
    hands of Justice!  Pazes teco (pax tecum), pazes Cristo.  May you
    receive peace, said Christ to His disciples.  If the accursed Justice
    should distrust me, or have its eye on me, in order to take me, or to
    rob me, may it have an eye which shall not see me; may it have a
    mouth which shall not speak to me; may it have an ear which shall not
    hear me; may it have a hand which shall not seize me; may it have a
    foot which shall not overtake me; for may I be armed with the arms of
    Saint George; may I be covered with the cloak of Abraham; and
    embarked in the ark of Noah; so that it can neither see me, nor hear
    me, nor draw the blood from my body!  I also conjure Thee, O Lord, by
    those three blessed crosses--by those three blessed chalices--by
    those three blessed clergymen--by those three consecrated hosts, that
    Thou give me that sweet company which Thou gavest the Virgin Maria,
    from the gates of Bethlehem even unto the portals of Jerusalem, that
    I may go and come with peace and joy with Jesus Christ, Son of the
    Virgin Maria, the prolific, yet nevertheless the eternal Virgin Maria
    our Lady.'

The woman of the house and her daughter had similar bags tied to their
necks, containing charms, which they said prevented the witches having
power to harm them.  The belief in witchcraft is very prevalent amongst
the peasantry of the Alemtejo, and I believe of other provinces of
Portugal.  This is one of the relics of the monkish system, the aim of
which in all countries where it has existed, or does exist, seems to be
to besot the minds of the people that they may be the more easily
plundered and misled.  The monks of the Greek and Syriac Churches
likewise deal in this kind of ware, which they know to be poison, but
which, as it brings them a price and fosters delusion by which they are
maintained in luxury and idleness, they would rather vend than the
wholesome drug.

The Sunday morning was fine, and the plain before the church of the
Convent of San Francisco was thronged with people going to mass or
returning.  After having performed my morning devotions and breakfasted,
I went down to the kitchen.  The fine girl Geronima was seated by the
fire.  I asked if she had heard mass; she replied, 'No,' and that she did
not intend to hear it.  Upon my inquiring her motive for absenting
herself, she replied that, since the friars had been expelled from their
churches and convents, she had ceased to attend mass or to confess
herself, for that the Government priests had no spiritual power, and
consequently she never troubled them.  She said the friars were holy men
and charitable; for that every morning those of the convent over the way
had fed forty poor persons with the remains of their meals of the
preceding day, but that now these people were allowed to starve.  I
replied that the friars who had lived upon the dainties of the land could
well afford to bestow a few bones on the poor, and that their doing so
was not the effect of charity, but merely a part of their artful policy,
by which they hoped to secure to themselves friends in time of need.  The
girl then said that as it was Sunday I should perhaps like to see some of
her books, and without waiting for a reply she produced them.  They
consisted principally of popular stories and lives and miracles of
saints, but amongst them was a translation of Volney's _Ruins of
Empires_.  I inquired how she became possessed of this book; she said
that a young man, a great Constitutionalist, had given it her some months
since and had pressed her much to read it, telling her that it was the
best book in the world.  Whereupon I told her that the author of the book
in question was an emissary of Satan and an enemy of Jesus Christ and the
souls of mankind; that he had written it with the sole view of bringing
all religion into contempt, and that he had inculcated therein the
doctrine that there was no future state nor rewards for the righteous nor
punishments for the wicked.  She made no reply, but going into another
room, returned with her apron full of dry brushwood and faggot; all of
this she piled upon the fire, and produced a bright blaze.  She then took
the book from my hand, and placed it upon the flaming pile; then sitting
down, took her rosary out of her pocket, and told her beads till the
volume was consumed.  This was an _Auto-da-fe_, in the true sense of the

On the Monday and Tuesday I paid my usual visits to the fountain, and
likewise rode about the neighbourhood for the purpose of circulating
tracts.  I dropped a great many in the favourite walks of the people of
Evora, as I felt rather dubious of their accepting them had I proffered
them with my own hands; whereas if they found them on the ground, I
thought that curiosity might induce them to pick them up and examine
them.  I likewise on the Tuesday evening paid a farewell visit to my
friend Don Azveto, as it was my intention to leave Evora on the Thursday
following; in which view I had engaged a cabriolet of a man who informed
me that he had served as a soldier in the _Grande Armee_ of Napoleon, and
had been present throughout the Russian campaign.  He looked the image of
a drunkard; his face was covered with carbuncles, and his breath
impregnated with the fumes of strong waters.  He wished much to converse
with me in French, in the speaking of which language, it seems, he prided
himself much; but I refused, and told him to speak the language of the
country, or I would hold no discourse with him.

Wednesday was stormy, with occasional rain.  On coming down I found that
my friend from Palmella had departed, but several _contrabandistas_ had
arrived from Spain.  They were mostly fine fellows, and, unlike the two I
had seen the previous week, who were of much lower degree, were chatty
and communicative; they spoke their native language and no other, and
seemed to hold Portuguese in great contempt; their magnificent Spanish
tones were heard to great advantage amidst the shrill chirping dialect of
Portugal.  I was soon in deep conversation with them, and was much
pleased to find that all of them could read.  I presented the eldest of
them, a man of about fifty years of age, with a tract in Spanish.  He
examined it for some time with great attention; he then rose from his
seat, and going into the middle of the apartment, began reading it aloud,
slowly and emphatically; his companions gathered round him, and every now
and then expressed their satisfaction at what they heard.  The reader
occasionally called upon me to explain particular passages which, as they
referred to Scripture, he did not exactly understand, for not one of the
party had ever seen either the Old or New Testament.  He continued
reading for nearly an hour until he had finished the tract, and at its
conclusion the whole party were clamorous for similar ones, with which I
was happy to be able to supply them.  Most of them spoke of priestcraft
and the monks with the utmost abhorrence, and said that they should
prefer death to again submitting to the yoke which had formerly galled
their necks.  I questioned them very particularly respecting the opinion
of their neighbours and acquaintances on this point, and they assured me
that in their part of the Spanish frontier all were of the same mind, and
that they cared as little for the Pope and his monks as they did for Don
Carlos, for the latter was a dwarf (_chicotito_) and a tyrant, and the
others were plunderers and robbers.  I told them that they must beware of
confounding religion with priestcraft, and that in their abhorrence of
the latter they must not forget that there is a God and a Christ, to whom
they must look for salvation, and whose word it was incumbent upon them
to study on every occasion; whereupon they all expressed a devout belief
in Christ and the Virgin.

These men, though in many respects far more enlightened than the
surrounding peasantry, were in others quite as much in the dark; they
believed in witchcraft and in the efficacy of particular charms.  The
night was very stormy, and about nine we heard a galloping towards the
door, and then a loud knocking; it was opened, and in rushed a
wild-looking man mounted upon a donkey.  He wore a jerkin of sheepskin,
called in Spanish _zamarras_, with breeches of the same as far down as
his knee; his legs were bare.  Around his _sombrero_, or shadowy hat, was
tied a large quantity of the herb called in English rosemary, in Spanish
_romero_, and in the rustic language of Portugal _ellecrin_, which last
is a word of Scandinavian origin, and properly signifies the elfin plant.
[It was probably] carried into the south by the Vandals or the Alani.
The [man seemed] frantic with terror, and said that the witches had been
pursuing him, and hovering over his head, for the last two leagues.  He
came from the Spanish frontier with meal and other articles; he informed
us that his wife was following him and would soon arrive, and within a
quarter of an hour she made her appearance, dripping with rain, and also
mounted upon a donkey.  I asked my friends the _contrabandistas_ why he
wore the rosemary in his hat, and they told me that it was good against
witches and the mischances of the road.  I had no time to argue against
this superstition, for as the chaise was to be ready at five o'clock next
morning I wished to make the most of the few hours which I could devote
to rest.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. Feb. 15, 1836)

The following Translations into the Romanee, or language of the Spanish
Tchai, Tchabos, Gitanos, Callos, or Gypsies, were made by me at Badajoz
during the first two weeks of January 1836.


[Here follow thirty-two verses of the translation, followed by a version
of the Lord's Prayer.]


[Here follow sixteen of these 'curses,' to each of which is added a
rendering in English.]

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                       (_Endorsed_: recd. Feb. 29th, 1836)
                                                MADRID, CALLE DE LA ZARZA,
                                                     _Feby._ 13_th_, 1836.

The game is now in our own hands, and it is our fault if we do not win
it, for a little patience and a little prudence is all that is required.
I came to Madrid without a single letter of introduction, and without
knowing an individual there.  I have now some powerful friends, and
through the kindness of Sir Geo. Villiers, the British Ambassador at the
Spanish Court, I have had an interview with that most singular man,
Mendizabal, whom it is as difficult to get nigh as it is to approach the
North Pole.  I have obtained his promise that when matters are in some
degree settled in this country, he will allow us to commence our
operations; but the preposterous idea, which by some means or other he
has embraced, that we have been endeavouring to foment disturbances
amongst the slaves of Cuba, prevents his looking upon us with favourable

I now write for orders; if you have received my letters and journals
(copious extracts from which you had better print), you will see how
successful I have been in the Alemtejo, as our books are now for sale at
Evora and Elvas, the two principal towns, and the Gospel of Christ has
been preached to many who were ignorant of it even by name; you will see
what I have been doing at Badajoz, especially amongst the Spanish
Gypsies, whose dialect of the Rommany I have so far mastered as to be
able to translate into it with tolerable ease.  Now, until my friends
here and myself can claim the fulfilment of Mr. Mendizabal's promise, do
you wish me to go to Granada, or back to Badajoz, and finish my
translation of St. Luke into Rommany, with the assistance of the Gypsies
of those places, who are far more conversant with their native language
than their brethren in other parts of Spain; or shall I return to Lisbon
and exert all my interest towards the execution of the plan which I
communicated first to Mr. Wilby, and then to yourself, namely, attempting
to induce the Government to adopt the Scriptures in the schools which
they are about to establish?  Since I have been at Madrid I have obtained
letters to individuals of great importance at Lisbon, and I know that Don
Jose d'Azveto will do anything to serve me within the limits of reason.
Therefore let the Committee be summoned, and a resolution forthwith
adopted as to my next course.  I think all our negotiations in the
Peninsula may be brought to a successful termination in a few months;
then you must send over an agent, a plain man of business, to engage
colporteurs and to come to arrangements with booksellers, both in Spain
and in the provincial towns of Portugal, but let him not be a hesitater
and starter of needless doubts and difficulties; anything may be
accomplished with a little shrewdness, a little boldness, and a great
trust in God.  I hope that my exertions have afforded satisfaction at
home, but if not, let me be allowed to state that it was not in my power
to accomplish more than I have.  I have borne hunger and thirst, cold and
fatigue, I have exposed myself to danger from robbers, and was near
losing my life from the ruffian soldiery at Arrayolos, whose bullets so
narrowly missed me.  I have been as economical as possible, though the
charges in Portugal for everything are enormous, and a stranger there is
like a ship on shore, a mark for plunder.  In Spain the people are far
more honest, and the charges, though high, reasonable in comparison.
Before leaving Lisbon I drew on excellent Mr. Wilby for 75 pounds; of
this sum 12 pounds was remitted to Malaja, through which place I shall
probably pass on my return to Lisbon.  I have still remaining by me money
sufficient for two months, I therefore need not enter into a detail of my
expenses.  I now wait for a letter from you; and when you write, please
to remit to me a small letter of credit on some one at Madrid, or request
Mr. Wilby to do so, as he has correspondents here, and in that case
communicate my address to him.  I give you below an abridgment of my
interview with Mr. Mendizabal.  I think it will make you laugh.  I have
the honour to remain, Revd. and dear Sir, etc.,

                                                                G. BORROW.

Interview with Mr. Mendizabal

At about 8 o'clock in the morning of the 7th inst. I went to the palace,
where Mr. Mendizabal resides.  I informed the usher that I came from the
British Ambassador, whereupon I was shown into a room, and after waiting
about three hours I was admitted to the presence of the Prime Minister of
Spain.  He was dressed in a morning gown and sat behind a table covered
with papers.  He is a man of about five-and-forty, somewhat above the
middle height, with very handsome features, aquiline nose and large
sparkling eyes; his hair is partly grey.  I presented him the letter with
which Sir Geo. Villiers had furnished me, and when he had read it, I said
that before entering upon the matter which more immediately brought me to
him, I begged leave to set him right upon a point relating to which he
was labouring under considerable error: Sir Geo. Villiers had informed me
that Mr. M. entertained an opinion that the Bible Society had been
endeavouring to exercise an undue influence over the minds of the slave
population of Cuba by means of their agents; but that I could assure him
with truth, that neither directly nor indirectly had they exerted or
attempted to exert any influence at all over any part of the inhabitants
of that island, as they had neither sent agents there, nor held any
communication with the residents.  While I was saying this, he
interrupted me several times, insisting that it was so, and that he had
documents to prove it.  I told him that it was probable he confounded the
Bible Society with some other institution for the propagation of
religion, perhaps with one of the missionary societies, more especially
one of those belonging to the United States, which might have sent
individuals to the island in question for the purpose of communicating
religious instruction to the slaves--but all I could say was to no avail;
he would have it that it was the British Bible Society who had despatched
missionaries to Cuba to incite the blacks to rise up against their
masters.  The absurdity of this idea struck me so forcibly that it was
with difficulty I restrained myself from laughing outright.  I at last
said that, whatever he might think to the contrary, the Committee of the
Bible Society were by no means of that turbulent and outrageous
disposition; that they were for the most part staid, quiet gentlemen, who
attended to their own affairs, and a little, and but a little to the
promulgation of Christ's Gospel, which, however, they too much respected
to endeavour to kindle a spirit of insurrection anywhere, as they all
know full well that it is the Word of God says that servants are to obey
their masters at all times and occasions.  I then requested permission to
print the New Testament in Spanish at Madrid.  He said he should not
grant it, for that the New Testament was a very dangerous book,
especially in disturbed times.  I replied that I was not aware that the
holy book contained any passages sanctioning blood-shedding and violence,
but I rather thought that it abounded with precepts of an entirely
opposite tendency; but he still persisted that it was an improper book.
I must here observe that it was with the utmost difficulty I obtained an
opportunity of explaining myself, on account of the propensity which he
possesses of breaking in upon the discourse of the person who is
addressing him; and at last, in self-defence, I was myself obliged to
infringe the rules of conversation, and to hold on without paying any
attention to his remarks--not that I gained much by so doing, for he
plainly told me that he was an obstinate man, and that he never abandoned
his opinions.  I certainly do not think him the most tractable of men,
but I am inclined to think that he is not ill-natured, as he preserved
his temper very well during the interview, and laughed heartily at two or
three of my remarks.  At last he said: 'I will not give you permission
now: but let the war be concluded, let the factious be beaten, and the
case will be altered; come to me six months hence.'  I then requested to
be allowed to introduce into Spain a few copies of the New Testament in
the Catalan dialect, as we had lately printed a most beautiful edition at
London, but he still said 'No, no,' and when I asked if he had any
objection to my calling again on the morrow and showing him a copy, he
made use of these remarkable words: 'I do not wish you should come, lest
you should convince me, and I do not wish to be convinced.'

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. April 2, 1836)
                                                          _Mar._ 22, 1836,
                                                CALLE DE LA ZARZA, MADRID.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I received your letter of the 8th inst., which gave
me much pleasure, as I understood from it that my humble efforts had
afforded satisfaction.  I also received the two letters from St.
Petersburg which were written by a dear friend of that place, to whom I
shall trouble you to forward a letter as soon as I have an opportunity of
writing, which at present I have not, as my time is much occupied.

I have to communicate to you what will not fail to be interesting.  The
Spanish press have taken up our affair, and I am at present engaged in
attempting to lay the foundation of a Bible Society at Madrid, to
accomplish which the editor of the influential newspaper, the _Espanol_,
has promised me his assistance.  There has already appeared in that
journal a most brilliant article which gives the history of our Society,
and states the advantages which would result to Spain from the
establishment within its bosom of a society whose aim should be the
propagation of the Scripture, in the Spanish language, amongst the
population.  Of this article I send extracts below, and shall probably,
when I have more time, send the whole.  The person whom we are looking
forward to as a head of the projected institution is a certain Bishop,
advanced in years, a person of great piety and learning, who has himself
translated the New Testament in a manner, as I am informed, far superior
to that of any of his predecessors; but I have not as yet seen it, and
therefore cannot speak positively as to its merits.  However, he is
disposed to print and circulate it, and if the translation be really an
excellent one it would not be unwise in us to patronise it, if by so
doing we could induce him to co-operate with us in our plans for
enlightening unhappy Spain.  But more of this anon.  I have little doubt
that the time is almost at hand when the cause of God will triumph in
this country, and I am exerting every means which I can devise in
humbleness of heart to help to bring about an event so desirable.  I
intend to remain a few weeks longer at Madrid at all events, for the
present moment is too fraught with interest to allow me to quit it
immediately.  As far as self is concerned I should rejoice to return
instantly to Lisbon, for I am not partial to Madrid, its climate, or
anything it can offer, if I except its unequalled gallery of pictures;
but I did not come hither to gratify self but as a messenger of the Word.

May I take the liberty of begging you to write a line to my dear and
revered friend Mr. Cunningham, informing him that I am in tolerable
health, and that I hope to write myself speedily.  The three letters
which you say have not arrived were, I believe, destroyed by a servant
for the sake of the postage, but I shall send you parts of my journal to
supply the deficiency.

Extracts from the 'Espanol'

'The first founders of the Bible Societies (for by this name they were
known) immediately comprehended their philosophic and civilising mission,
and fulfilled the thought of its inventor.  In a short period the circle
of their action expanded itself, and not content with making Great
Britain alone a participator of this salutary institution, they wished to
extend it to all countries, and therefore called to their assistance the
majority of the known languages.  To all the quarters of the inhabited
world they sent at their own expense agents to traverse the countries and
discover the best means of disseminating the truths of the Bible, and to
discover manuscripts of the ancient versions.  They did more: convinced
of the necessity of placing themselves above the miserable considerations
of sectarian spirit, they determined that the text should not be
accompanied by any species of note or commentary which might provoke the
discord which unhappily reigns among the different fractions of
Christianity, which separates more and more their views instead of
guiding them to the religious end which they propose.

'Thus the doctrine of the Nazarene might be studied with equal success by
the Greek schismatic and the Catholic Spaniard, by the sectary of Calvin
and the disciple of Luther: its seed might bless at one and the same time
the fruitful plains of Asia and the sterile sands of desert Arabia, the
burning soil of India and the icy land of the ferocious Esquimaux.
Antiquity knew no speedier means of conveying its ideas than the
harangues which the orators pronounced from the summit of the tribune,
amidst assemblies of thousands of citizens; but modern intelligence
wished to discover other means infinitely more efficacious, more active,
more rapid, more universal, and has invented the press.  Thus it was that
in the preceding ages the warm and animated words of the missionary were
necessarily the only organ which Christianity had at command to proclaim
its principles; but scarcely did this invention come to second the
progress of modern civilisation, than it foresaw the future ally destined
to complete the intelligent and social labour which it had taken upon

(After stating what has been accomplished by the B. F. B. Society, and
how many others have sprung up under her auspices in different lands, the
article continues:)

'Why should Spain which has explored the New World, which has generalised
inoculation in order to oppose the devastations of a horrid pest, which
has always distinguished herself by zeal in labouring in the cause of
humanity--why should she alone be destitute of Bible Societies?  Why
should a nation eminently Catholic continue isolated from the rest of
Europe, without joining in the magnificent enterprise in which the latter
is so busily engaged?'

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

(My best respects to Mr. Jowett.)

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                           (_Endorsed_: recd. May 5, 1836)
                                         MADRID, No. 3, CALLE DE LA ZARZA,
                                                           20 _April_ 1836

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I have received your letter of the 6th inst., in
which you request me to write to you a little more frequently, on the
ground that my letters are not destitute of interest; your request,
however, is not the principal reason which incites me to take up the pen
at the present moment.  Though I hope that I shall be able to communicate
matter which will afford yourself and our friends at home subject for
some congratulation, my more immediate object is to inform you of my
situation, of which I am sure you have not the slightest conception.

For the last three weeks I have been without money, literally without a
farthing.  About a month ago I received fifteen pounds from Mr. Wilby,
and returned him an order for twenty, he having, when I left Lisbon, lent
me five pounds, on account, above what I drew for, as he was apprehensive
of my being short of money before I reached Madrid.  12 pounds, 5s. of
this I instantly expended for a suit of clothes, {153} my own being so
worn, that it was impossible to appear longer in public with them.  At
the time of sending him the receipt I informed him that I was in need of
money, and begged that he would send the remaining 30 pounds by return of
post.  I have never heard from him from that moment, though I have
written twice.  Perhaps he never received my letters, or I may not have
received his, the post of Estremadura having been three times robbed; I
can imagine no other reason.  The money may still come, but I have given
up all hopes of it, and am compelled to write home, though what I am to
do till I can receive your answer I am at a loss to conceive.  But God is
above all, and I am far from complaining; but you would oblige me, upon
receiving this, to procure me instantly a letter of credit on some house
in Madrid.  I believe Messrs. Hammersley of London have correspondents
here.  Whatever I undergo, I shall tell nobody my situation: it might
hurt the Society and our projects here.  I know enough of the world to be
aware that it is considered as the worst of crimes to be without money.
Above all, let me intreat you never to hint of this affair in any
communication to Mr. Wilby; he is a most invaluable man, and he might
take offence.

A week ago, after having spent much time in drawing up a petition, I
presented it to the Ecclesiastical Committee of Censors.  It was strongly
backed by the Civil Governor of Madrid, within whose department the
Censorship is.  In this petition, after a preamble on the religious state
of Spain, I requested permission to print the New Testament without note
or comment, according to the version of Father Scio, and in the same form
and size as the small edition of Paris, in order that the book might be
'_al alcance asi de los pobres como de los ricos_' (within the reach of
the poor as well as of the wealthy). {154}  The Ecclesiastical Board are
at present consulting about it, as I was informed to-day, upon my
repairing to their house for the purpose of knowing how matters were
going on.  I have hopes of success, having done all in my power to
prevent a failure by making important friends since the moment of my
arrival.  I was introduced to the Governor by his most intimate
acquaintance Synudi, the Deputy of Huelba, to whom I was introduced by
the celebrated Alcala de Galiano, the Deputy of Cadiz, who will sooner or
later be Prime Minister, and to him I was introduced by--but I will not
continue, as I might run on for ever, much after the fashion as

'This is the house which Jack built.'

And now I have something to tell you which I think will surprise you, and
which, strange as it may sound, is nevertheless true.  The authority of
the Pope in this country is in so very feeble and precarious a situation,
that little more than a breath is required to destroy it, and I am almost
confident that in less than a year it will be disowned.  I am doing
whatever I can in Madrid to prepare the way for an event so desirable.  I
mix with the people, and inform them who and what the Pope is, and how
disastrous to Spain his influence has been.  I tell them that the
indulgences, which they are in the habit of purchasing, are of no more
intrinsic value than so many pieces of paper, and were merely invented
with the view of plundering them.  I frequently ask: 'Is it possible that
God, who is good, would sanction the sale of sin?' and, 'Supposing
certain things are sinful, do you think that God, for the sake of your
money, would permit you to perform them?'  In many instances my hearers
have been satisfied with this simple reasoning, and have said that they
would buy no more indulgences.  Moreover, the newspapers have, in two or
three instances, taken up the subject of Rome upon national and political
grounds.  The Pope is an avowed friend of Carlos, and an enemy of the
present Government, and in every instance has refused to acknowledge the
Bishops who have been nominated to vacant sees by the Queen.  Therefore
the editors say, and very naturally, if the Pope does everything in his
power to impede the progress of Spanish regeneration, it is high time to
cut the ties which still link Spain to the papal chair.  It is my sincere
prayer, and the prayer of many of those who have the interest of Spain at
heart, that The Man of Rome will continue in the course which he is at
present pursuing, for by so doing he loses Spain, and then he is nothing.
He is already laughed at throughout Italy--Ireland will alone remain to
him--much good it may do him!

In respect to the Apocrypha, let me be permitted to observe that an
anticipation of that difficulty was one of my motives for forbearing to
request permission to print the entire Bible; and here I will hint that
in these countries, until the inhabitants become Christian, it would be
expedient to drop the Old Testament altogether, for if the Old accompany
the New the latter will be little read, as the former is so infinitely
more entertaining to the carnal man.  Mr. Wilby in his [last] letter
informs me that 30 Bibles have been sold in Lisbon within a short time,
but that the demand for Testaments has not amounted to half that number.
My best respects to Mr. Jowett.

                                                                     G. B.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. June 1, 1836)
                                                   MADRID, _May_ 22, 1836.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I write in the greatest hurry.  I shall receive the
permission, the Lord willing, in a few days; the Duke de Rivas has this
moment told me so, and he is Minister of the Interior.

The Ecclesiastical Court declined deciding upon the matter, and left it
entirely in the hands of the Ministers.  Just as the English Ambassador
was about to remind Mr. Mendizabal of his promise to me, the latter
gentleman and his colleagues retired from office; a new Ministry was
formed composed entirely of my friends, amongst them Alcala Galiano (turn
to my last letter).

As soon as the Minister of Finance, with whom I am very intimate, returns
from France, I shall request to be permitted to introduce the Catalan New
Testament upon paying a reasonable duty.

I received Mr. Jackson's letter containing the money, and yours, also
with money, and a rap on the knuckles besides; it was scarcely merited,
as I can prove in five words.

Not having the Scripture to offer to the people, I was obliged to content
myself with mentioning it to them; the people here know not the Scripture
even by name, but they know a certain personage well enough, and as soon
as the subject of religion is brought up they are sure to bring him
forward, as they consider him the fountainhead of all religion.  Those
therefore in the situation of myself have three things at their option;
to speak nothing--to speak lies--or to speak the truth.  In simpleness of
heart I thought proper to adopt the last principle as my line of conduct;
I do not think I have erred, but I shall be more reserved in future.

In conclusion let me be permitted to observe that the last skirts of the
cloud of papal superstition are vanishing below the horizon of Spain;
whoever says the contrary either knows nothing of the matter or wilfully
hides the truth.

I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, most truly yours,

                                                                G. BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. June 2, 1836)
                                                              10 AT NIGHT,
                                                 [MADRID, _May_ 22, 1836.]

MY DEAR SIR,--There has been a partial disturbance at Madrid, and it is
not impossible that the new Ministry will go out and Mr. M. be
reinstated--which event, however, will make little difference to us, as
the British Ambassador has promised to back the application which I shall
instantly make.  There are so many changes and revolutions here that
nothing is certain even for a day.  I wish to let you know what is going
forward, and am aware that you will excuse two letters arriving at one

                                                                     G. B.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. June 4, 1836)
                           [MADRID], _Monday night_, half p. 11, _May_ 30.

The post will presently depart, therefore I have no time to lose.  Every
thing, thank God, is again tranquil, and it appears that the present
Ministry will stand its ground.  I am just returned from the house of one
of the Ministers; I can consequently speak pretty positively.  The Queen
will not accept their resignations, and the army is on their side.  The
Cortes have been dissolved.  The whole Cabinet are of opinion that my
petition is just and reasonable and ought to be granted.  I have been
requested to appear next Thursday at the Office, when I expect to receive
the permission, or to hear that steps have been taken towards making it

The reason of Mr. Mendizabal's resignation was his inability to
accomplish the removal of General Cordova from the head of the army.  It
is not for me to offer an opinion on the General's military talents, but
he is much beloved by the soldiers, whose comforts and interests he has
much attended to; to deprive him of command would therefore be attended
with danger.  I have no complaint to make against Mr. M.; he is a kind,
well-meaning man, and had he remained in office I have no doubt that he
would have acceded to my petition.

I hope you will pray that God will grant me wisdom, humbleness of spirit,
and success in all that is right.

                                                                G. BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. July 11, 1836)
                                  CALLE SANTIAGO, No. 16 PISO 3RO, MADRID,
                                                          _June_ 30, 1836.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--As I have little doubt that you are anxiously
awaiting the arrival of some intelligence from me, I write a few lines
which I have no doubt will prove satisfactory to you, and in the course
of a few days I hope to write again, when I shall probably be able to
announce the happy termination of the affair which brought me to Spain.

The difficulties which I have had to encounter since I last wrote to you
have been so many and formidable that I have been frequently on the verge
of despairing ever to obtain permission to print the Gospel in Spain,
which has become the most ardent wish of my heart.  Only those who have
been in the habit of dealing with Spaniards, by whom the most solemn
promises are habitually broken, can form a correct idea of my reiterated
disappointments and of the toil of body and agony of spirit which I have
been subjected to.  One day I have been told, at the Ministry, that I had
only to wait a few moments and all I wished would be acceded to; and then
my hopes have been blasted with the information that various
difficulties, which seemed insurmountable, had presented themselves,
whereupon I have departed almost broken-hearted; but the next day I have
been summoned in a great hurry and informed that 'all was right,' and
that on the morrow a regular authority to print the Scriptures would be
delivered to me; but by that time fresh and yet more terrible
difficulties had occurred--so that I became weary of my life.

During the greatest part of the last six weeks I have spent upon an
average ten hours every day, dancing attendance on one or another of the
Ministers, and when I have returned home I have been so fatigued that I
have found it impossible to write, even to my nearest friends.  The heat
has been suffocating, for the air seems to be filled with flaming
vapours, and the very Spaniards are afraid to stay out, and lie gasping
and naked on their brick floors; therefore if you have felt disappointed
in not having heard from me for a considerable time, the above statement
must be my excuse.

During the last fortnight the aspect of my affair has become more
favourable, and, notwithstanding all the disappointments I have met, I
now look forward with little apprehension to the result.  The English
Ambassador, Mr. Villiers, has taken me by the hand in the most generous
manner and has afforded me the most effectual assistance.  He has spoken
to all the Ministers, collectively and individually, and has recommended
the granting of my petition in the strongest manner, pointing out the
terrible condition of the people at present who are without religious
instruction of any kind, and the impossibility of exercising any species
of government over a nation of atheists, which the Spaniards will very
shortly become if left to themselves.  Whether moved by his arguments or
by a wish to oblige a person of so much importance as the British
Ambassador, the Cabinet of Madrid now exhibit a manifest willingness to
do all in their power to satisfy me; and though by the law of Spain the
publishing of the Scripture in the vulgar tongue without notes is
forbidden, measures have been taken by which the rigor of the law can be
eluded and the printer be protected, until such time as it shall be
deemed prudent to repeal the law made, as is now generally confessed, in
a time of ignorance and superstitious darkness.

I herewith send you a letter which I received some days since from Mr.
Villiers; I have several others on the same subject, but I prefer sending
this particular one as it is the last.  Since I received it, the
Ministers have met and discussed the petition, and the result was, as I
have been informed, though not officially, in its favour.

You would oblige me by mentioning to his Lordship the President of the
Bible Society the manner in which Mr. Villiers has befriended me, and to
beg that he would express by letter an acknowledgment of the favour which
I have received; and at the same time, I think that a vote of thanks from
the Committee would not be amiss, as I may be again in need of Mr. V.'s
assistance before I leave Spain.  The interest which he has taken in this
affair is the more surprising, as Mr. Graydon informed me that upon his
applying to him he declined to interfere.

I saw Mr. Graydon twice or thrice.  He left Madrid for Barcelona about a
month since, because the heat of the former place in the summer months is
more than he can bear, and as he found I was so far advanced, he thought
he might be of more utility in Catalonia.

I have at present nothing more to say, and am so weak from heat and
fatigue that I can hardly hold the pen.  I have removed from my old
lodgings to those which Mr. Graydon occupied; therefore when you write,
direct as above.  With my best remembrances to Mr. Jowett, I remain, my
dear Sir, very truly yours,

                                                                     G. B.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. July 18, 1836)
                                                   7 _July_, 1836, MADRID,
                                          CALLE SANTIAGO, No. 16 PISO 3RO.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--The affair is settled--thank God!!! and we may begin
to print whenever we think proper.

Perhaps you have thought I have been tardy in accomplishing the business
which brought me to Spain; but to be able to form a correct judgment you
ought to be aware of all the difficulties which I have had to encounter,
and which I shall not enumerate; I shall content myself with observing
that for a thousand pounds I would not undergo again all the
mortifications and disappointments of the last two months.

The present Ministry have been afraid to offend the clergy, and with
great reason, as they are not of the movement or radical party, and many
of their friends are bigoted papists; nevertheless, influenced by the
pressing applications of the British Ambassador and being moreover
well-disposed to myself, they have consented to the printing of the
Testament; but it must be done in a private manner.  I have just had a
long interview with Mr. Isturitz, who told me that if we were resolved
upon the enterprise we had best employ the confidential printer of the
Government, who would keep the matter secret; as in the present state of
affairs he would not answer for the consequences if it were noised
abroad.  I of course expressed my perfect readiness to comply with so
reasonable a request.

I will now candidly confess to you that I do not think that the present
Ministry, or, as it is generally called, the Court Ministry, will be able
to stand its ground; nevertheless a change of Ministry would not alter
the aspect of our affair in the least, for if the other or movement party
come in, the liberty of the press (a great misfortune for Spain) would be
probably granted; at all events, the influence of the English Ambassador
would be greater than it is even at present, and upon his assistance I
may rely at all times and occasions.

I am not aware that there is any great necessity for my continuance in
Spain; nevertheless, should you think there is, you have only to command.
But I cannot help thinking that in a month or two when the heats are over
Mr. Graydon might return, as nothing very difficult remains to be
accomplished, and I am sure that Mr. Villiers at my entreaty would extend
to him the patronage with which he has honoured me.  But, as I before
observed, I am ready to do whatever the Bible Society may deem expedient.

Do not forget _the two_ letters of thanks to the Ambassador, and it would
not be unwise to transmit a _vote_ of thanks to 'His Excellence Antonio
Alcala Galiano, President of Marine,' who has been of great assistance to

I have the honour to be, Revd. and dear Sir, your most obedient servant,

                                                                     G. B.

P.S.--In about six weeks I shall want some more money.

My best remembrances to Mr. Jowett.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                       (_Endorsed_: recd. July 30th, 1836)
                                                MADRID, _July_ 19th, 1836.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--As I believe you have no account of my proceedings
at Badajoz, I send you the following which will perhaps serve for your
'Monthly Extracts.'  I have corrected and improved my translation of the
Lord's Prayer into Rommany, and should it be printed, let it be done so
with care.  Perhaps in a few days I shall send a general account of what
I have been about since my arrival at Madrid, but I am at present very
feeble and languid, and can scarcely hold a pen.  There is nothing new
here, all is quiet, and I hope will continue so.  My time does not pass
very agreeably, I am without books or conversation, for all my
acquaintance have left the place to escape from the intolerable heat.  I
often sigh for Russia, and wish I was there, editing Mandchou or
Armenian; pray remember me kindly to Mr. Jowett and to my other friends.
I remain, etc.

                                                                G. BORROW.

About one o'clock in the afternoon of the 6th of January, 1836, I crossed
the bridge of the Guadiana, a boundary river between Portugal and Spain,
and entered Badajoz, a strong Spanish town containing about 8000
inhabitants, and founded by the Romans.  I instantly returned thanks to
God who had protected me during a journey of five days through the wilds
of Alemtejo, the province of Portugal the most infested by robbers and
desperate characters, and which I had traversed with no other human
companion than a lad, nearly idiotic, who was to convey back the mules
which carried myself and baggage.  It was not my intention to make much
stay at Badajoz, and as a vehicle would set out for Madrid the day next
but one after my arrival, I proposed to depart therein for the capital of

The next morning I was standing at the door of the inn where I had taken
up my residence; the weather was gloomy, and rain seemed to be at hand.
I was thinking of the state of the country I had lately entered, which
was involved in bloody anarchy and confusion, and where the ministers of
a religion, falsely styled Catholic and Christian, were blowing the trump
of war, instead of preaching the love-engendering words of the blessed
Gospel.  Suddenly two men wrapped in long cloaks came down the narrow and
almost deserted street.  They were about to pass me, and the face of the
nearest was turned full towards me.  I knew to whom the countenance which
he displayed must belong, and I touched him on the shoulder.  The man
stopped and his companion also; I said a certain word, to which after an
exclamation of surprise he responded in the manner which I expected.  The
men were of that singular family, or race, which has diffused itself over
every part of the civilized globe, and the members of which are known as
Gypsies, Bohemians, Gitanos, Zigani, and by many other names, but whose
proper appellation seems to be 'Rommany,' from the circumstance that in
many and distant countries they so style themselves, and also the
language which they speak amongst each other.  We began conversing in the
Spanish dialect of this language, with which I was tolerably well
acquainted.  Upon inquiring of my two newly-made acquaintances whether
there were many of their people at Badajoz and in the vicinity, they
informed me that there were nine or ten families residing in the town,
and that there were others at Merida, a town about nine leagues distant.
I asked by what means they supported themselves, and they replied that
they and their brethren gained a livelihood by jobbing in horses, mules,
etc., but that all those in Badajoz were very poor, with the exception of
one man, who was exceedingly _mubalballo_ or rich, as he was in
possession of many horses and other beasts.  They removed their cloaks
for a moment, and I saw that their undergarments were rags.

They left me in haste, and went about the town informing the rest that a
stranger was arrived, who spoke Rommany as well as themselves, who had
the eyes and face of a Gitano, and seemed to be of the _eratti_, or
blood.  In less than half-an-hour the street before the inn was filled
with the men, women, and children of Egypt.  I went out amongst them, and
my heart sank within me as I surveyed them; so much squalidness, dirt,
and misery I had never before seen amongst a similar number of human
beings.  But the worst of all was the evil expression of their
countenances, plainly denoting that they were familiar with every species
of crime; and it was not long before I found that their countenances did
not belie them.  After they had asked me an infinity of questions, and
felt my hands, face, and clothes, they retired to their homes.  My
meeting with these wretched people was the reason of my remaining at
Badajoz a much longer time than I originally intended.  I wished to
become better acquainted with their condition and manners, and above all
to speak to them about Christ and His Word, for I was convinced that
should I travel to the end of the universe I should meet with none who
were more in need of Christian exhortation, and I accordingly continued
at Badajoz for nearly three weeks.

During this time I was almost constantly amongst them, and as I spoke
their language and was considered by them as one of themselves, I had
better opportunities of coming to a fair conclusion respecting their
character than any other person, whether Spaniard or foreigner, could
have hoped for, not possessed of a similar advantage.  The result of my
observations was a firm belief that the Spanish Gitanos are the most
vile, degraded, and wretched people upon the earth.

In no part of the world does the Gypsy race enjoy a fair fame and
reputation, there being no part where they are not considered, and I
believe with justice, as cheats and swindlers; but those of Spain are not
only all this, but far more.  The Gypsies of England, Russia, etc., live
by fraud of various descriptions, but they seldom commit acts of
violence, and their vices are none or very few; the men are not
drunkards, nor are the women harlots; but the Gypsy of Spain is a cheat
in the market-place, a brigand and murderer on the high-road, and a
drunkard in the wine-shop, and his wife is a harlot and thief on all
times and occasions.  The excessive wickedness of these outcasts may
perhaps be attributed to their having abandoned their wandering life and
become inmates of the towns, where to the original bad traits of their
character they have super-added the evil and vicious habits of the
rabble.  Their mouths teem with abomination, and in no part of the world
have I heard such frequent, frightful, and extraordinary cursing as
amongst them.

Religion they have none; they never attend mass, nor confess themselves,
and never employ the names of God, Christ and the Virgin, but in
imprecation and blasphemy.  From what I learnt from them it appeared that
their ancestors had some belief in metempsychosis, but they themselves
laughed at the idea, and were decidedly of opinion that the soul perished
when the body ceased to breathe; and the argument which they used was
rational enough, so far as it impugned metempsychosis: 'We have been
wicked and miserable enough in this life,' they said; 'why should we live

I translated certain portions of Scripture into their dialect, which I
frequently read to them, especially the parables of Lazarus and the
Prodigal Son, and told them that the latter had been as wicked as
themselves, and both had suffered as much or more; but that the
sufferings of the former, who always looked forward to a blessed
resurrection, were recompensed in the world to come by admission to the
society of Abraham and the prophets, and that the latter, when he
repented of his crimes, was forgiven and received into as much favour as
the just son had always enjoyed.  They listened with admiration, but
alas! not of the truths, the eternal truths I was telling them, but at
finding that their broken jargon could be written and read.  The only
words of assent to the heavenly doctrine which I ever obtained, and which
were rather of the negative kind, were the following, from a woman:
'Brother, you tell us strange things, though perhaps you do not lie; a
month since I would sooner have believed these tales, than that I should
this day have seen one who could write Rommany.'

They possess a vast number of songs or couplets which they recite to the
music of the guitar.  For the purpose of improving myself in the language
I collected and wrote down upwards of one hundred of these couplets, the
subjects of which are horse-stealing, murder, and the various incidents
of gypsy-life in Spain.  Perhaps a collection of songs more
characteristic of the people from whom they originated was never made,
though amongst them are to be found some tender and beautiful thoughts,
though few and far between, as a flower or shrub is here and there seen
springing from the interstices of the rugged and frightful rocks of which
are composed the mountains and sierras of Spain.

The following is their traditionary account of the expulsion of their
fathers from Egypt.  'And it came to pass that Pharaoh the King collected
numerous armies for the purpose of war; and after he had conquered the
whole world, he challenged God to descend from heaven and fight him; but
the Lord replied, "There is no one who shall fight with Me"; and
thereupon the Lord opened a mountain, and He cast therein Pharaoh the
King and all his numerous armies; so that the Egyptians remained without
defence, and their enemies arose and scattered them wide abroad.'

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         No. 16 CALLE DE SANTIAGO, MADRID,
                                                        _July_ 25th, 1836.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I enclose you a letter from a Spanish gentleman who
wishes to become a subscriber to the Society.  He is a person of great
respectability, great learning, and is likewise one of the editors of the
_Espanol_, the principal newspaper in Spain.  Should you accept his offer
of becoming a correspondent, he may be of infinite service, as the
newspaper which he superintends would be always open to the purposes of
the Society.  He has connections all over Spain, and no one could assist
more effectually in diffusing the Scriptures when printed.  He wishes
very much to have an account of the proceedings of the Society, therefore
any books you could send him relating thereto would be highly acceptable.
Great things might be done in Spain, and I am convinced that if there was
a Protestant church in Madrid it would be crammed.

I have spoken to Mr. Wood, an Englishman, the printer of the _Espanol_,
who has the best printing presses in Spain, and he is willing to begin
the work whenever you think proper: he will engage to bring it out in
three months, in the same shape as the Catalan Testaments.  In order that
you may have as little trouble as possible, I have translated Dr. Usoz's
letter.  I have not thought fit to transmit the printed paper which he
alludes to, as it would make this letter very bulky.  It is an official
account of his studies, and the honours he attained at the University.

I remain, Revd. and dear Sir,

Most truly yours,

                                                                G. BORROW.


Gentlemen of the British and Foreign Bible Society,

Having by good fortune become acquainted with your Agent, Mr. G. Borrow,
at present residing in this city, and having learnt from him that I might
take the liberty of addressing myself to you for the purpose of inquiring
whether you would have any objection to insert my name in your list as a
member, I avail myself of the present opportunity to do so, and hope that
my wishes will be gratified.  I believe it is necessary for every member
to pay 1 pound sterling, or 100 _reals_ of our coin, annually; perhaps
you will inform me when, and in whose hands, I may deposit this sum.  As
I have no other object in this than to endeavour, by all the means in my
power, to cause the Scriptures to be read as much as possible in my
unhappy country, I should wish to be considered in the light of a
correspondent, as I flatter myself that if you would consent, after
taking the necessary precautions, to entrust me with copies of the
Scripture, I should find no difficulty in circulating them in every
province of my country.

Being fully convinced that nothing but the reading of the Bible can form
the basis of solid liberty in Spain, I will employ every effort to
promote it, if your philanthropic Society will assist me.  It would
answer no purpose to occupy your attention by speaking prolixly of the
purity of my intention and my zeal; time and experience will speak either
for or against me; I will merely enclose this printed paper, by which you
will learn who he is who has taken the liberty of writing to you.  It is
superfluous to add that, should you consent to my desire, I should want
all the notices and documents respecting your Society which you could
supply me with.

As I possess some knowledge of English, you might avail yourselves of
this language in your answer, provided the letters used be written

I have the honour, etc.

                                                       LUIS DE USOZ Y RIO.

P.S.--Should you direct to me directly, or by other means than the post,
my address is: A D. Luis de Usoz y Rio, Calle de Santa Catalina, No. 12
nuevo, Madrid.

To J. Jackson, Esq.

                                       (_Endorsed_: recd. Aug. 26th, 1836)
                                                  MADRID, _Aug._ 10, 1836.

MY DEAR SIR,--I have received your two letters containing the 50 pounds
and the resolution of the Society; I have likewise received Mr.

I shall make the provisional engagement [to print] as desired, and shall
leave Madrid as soon as possible; but I must here inform you that I shall
find much difficulty in returning to England, as all the provinces are
disturbed in consequence of the Constitution of 1812 having been
proclaimed, and the roads are swarming with robbers and banditti.  It is
my intention to join some muleteers and attempt to reach Granada, from
whence, if possible, I shall proceed to Malaga or Gibraltar, and thence
to Lisbon, where I left the greatest part of my baggage.  Do not be
surprised therefore, if I am tardy in making my appearance.  It is no
easy thing at present to travel in Spain.  But all these troubles are for
the benefit of the Cause, and must not be repined at.

I remain, my dear Sir, most truly yours,

                                                                     G. B.

Report of Mr. Geo. Borrow's late Proceedings in Spain

                                               LONDON, _October_ 17, 1836.

On the 16th of January I quitted Badajoz, a Spanish town on the frontier
of Portugal, for Madrid, whither I arrived in safety.  As my principal
motive for visiting the Spanish capital was the hope of obtaining
permission from the Government to print the New Testament in the
Castilian language in Spain, I lost no time upon my arrival in taking
what I considered to be the necessary steps.  I must here premise that I
was an entire stranger at Madrid, and that I bore no letters, of
introduction to any person of influence whose credit might have assisted
me in this undertaking; so that notwithstanding I entertained a hope of
success, relying on the assistance of the Almighty, this hope was not at
all times very vivid, but was frequently overcast with the clouds of
despondency.  Mr. Mendizabal was at this time Prime Minister of Spain,
and was considered as a man of almost unbounded power, in whose hands
were placed the destinies of the country.  I therefore considered that if
I could by any means induce him to favour my view I should have no reason
to fear interruption from other quarters, and I determined upon applying
to him; but though I essayed two or three times to obtain an interview
with him, I failed, as he was far too much engrossed in important
business to receive a humble and unknown stranger.  In this dilemma I
bethought me of waiting upon Mr. Villiers, the British Ambassador at
Madrid, and craving with the freedom permitted to a British subject his
advice and assistance in this most interesting affair.  I was received by
him with great kindness, and enjoyed a conversation with him on various
subjects, before I introduced the matter which I had most at heart.  He
said that if I wished for an interview with Mr. M. he would endeavour to
procure me one; but at the same time told me frankly that he could not
hope that any good would arise from it, as Mr. M. was violently
prejudiced against the British and Foreign Bible Society, and was far
more likely to discountenance than encourage any efforts which they might
be disposed to make for introducing the Gospel into Spain.  I however
remained resolute in my desire to make the trial, and before I left him
obtained a letter of introduction to Mr. Mendizabal, with whom I had an
interview a few days after.  The particulars of this interview have been
detailed on a former occasion.  It will be sufficient to state here that
I obtained from Mr. Mendizabal, if not immediate permission to print the
Scriptures, a promise that at the expiration of a few months, when he
hoped that the country would be in a more tranquil state, I should be at
full liberty to do so, with which promise I departed well satisfied, and
full of gratitude to the Lord, who seemed to have so wonderfully smoothed
my way in an enterprise which at first sight seemed particularly arduous
and difficult.

Before three months had elapsed Mr. Mendizabal had ceased to be Prime
Minister; with his successor, Mr. Isturitz, I had become acquainted, and
also with his colleagues, Galiano and the Duke de Rivas, and it was not
long before I obtained--not however without much solicitation and
difficulty--the permission which I so ardently desired.  Before, however,
I could turn it to my account, the revolution broke out in Spain, and the
press became free.

The present appears to be a moment peculiarly well adapted for commencing
operations in Spain, the aim and view of which should be the introducing
into that singularly unhappy portion of the world the knowledge of the
Saviour.  The clouds of bigotry and superstition which for so many
centuries cast their dreary shadow upon Spain, are to a considerable
degree dispelled, and there is little reason for supposing that they will
ever again conglomerate.  The Papal See is no longer regarded with
reverence, and its agents and ministers have incurred universal scorn and
odium; therefore any fierce and determined resistance to the Gospel in
Spain is not to be apprehended either from the people themselves, or from
the clergy, who are well aware of their own weakness.  It is scarcely
necessary to remark that every country which has been long subjected to
the sway of popery is in a state of great and deplorable ignorance.
Spain, as might have been expected, has not escaped this common fate, and
the greatest obstacle to the diffusion of the Gospel light amongst the
Spaniards would proceed from the great want of education amongst them.
Perhaps there are no people in the world to whom nature has been, as far
as regards mental endowments, more bounteously liberal than the
Spaniards.  They are generally acute and intelligent to an extraordinary
degree, and express themselves with clearness, fluency, and elegance upon
all subjects which are within the scope of their knowledge.  It may
indeed be said of the mind of a Spaniard, as of his country, that it
merely requires cultivation to be a garden of the first order; but,
unhappily, both, up to the present time, have been turned to the least
possible account.  Few amongst the lower class of the population of the
towns are acquainted with letters, and fewer still amongst the peasantry;
but though compelled to acknowledge the ignorance of the Spaniards in
general, I have great pleasure in being able to state that during the
latter years it has been becoming less and less, and that the rising
generation is by no means so illiterate as the last, which was itself
superior in acquirements to the preceding one.  It is to be hoped that
the progress in improvement will still continue, and that within a few
years the blessings of education will be as generally diffused amongst
the Spaniards as amongst the people of France and England.  Government
has already commenced the establishment of Normal Schools, and though the
state of the country, convulsed with the horrors of civil war, precludes
the possibility of devoting to them the care and attention which they
deserve, I have no doubt that when it shall please the Lord to vouchsafe
peace unto Spain they will receive all the requisite patronage and
support, as their utility is already generally recognised.

Before quitting Madrid I entered into negotiation with Mr. Charles Wood,
a respectable Englishman established there, for the printing of 5000
copies of the New Testament in Spanish, which number, if on good paper
and in handsome type, I have little doubt might be easily disposed of
within a short time in the capital and in the principal provincial towns
of Spain, particularly Cadiz and Seville, where the people are more
enlightened than in other parts in most respects, and where many would be
happy to obtain the sacred volume in a handsome yet cheap form, and some
in any shape whatever--as there the Word of God is at least known by
reputation, and no small curiosity has of late years been manifested
concerning it, though unfortunately that curiosity has not hitherto been
gratified, for reasons too well known to require recapitulation.

In the rural districts the chances of the Scriptures are considerably
less, for there, as far as I am aware, not only no curiosity has been
excited respecting it, but it is not known by name, and when mentioned to
the people, is considered to be nothing more or less than the mass-book
of the Romish Church.  On various occasions I have conversed with the
peasantry of Estremadura, La Mancha, and Andalusia respecting the holy
Book, and without one exception they were not only ignorant of its
contents, but ignorant of its nature; some who could read, and pretended
to be acquainted with it, said that it contained hymns to the Virgin, and
was written by the Pope; yet the peasantry of these three provinces are
by no means the least enlightened of Spain, but perhaps the reverse.  In
a word, great as the ignorance of the generality of the Spaniards upon
most essential points is, they are principally ignorant of the one most
essential of all, the religion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

No time, however, ought to be lost in supplying those with the word who
are capable of receiving it; though millions in Spain are undoubtedly
beyond the reach of any efforts which the Bible Society can make to
assist them, however much it may have at heart their eternal salvation,
it is gratifying to have grounds for belief that thousands are able and
willing to profit by the exertions which may be made to serve them.
Though the days of the general orange-gathering are not arrived, when the
tree requires but a slight shaking to scatter its ripe and glorious
treasures on the head of the gardener, still goodly and golden fruit is
to be gathered on the most favoured and sunny branches; the quantity is
small in comparison with what remains green and acid, but there is enough
to repay the labour of him who is willing to ascend to cull it; the time
of the grand and general harvesting is approaching, perhaps it will
please the Almighty to hasten it; and it may even now be nearer than the
most sanguine of us dares to hope.

                                                                G. BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                       (_Endorsed_: recd. Nov. 30th, 1836)
                                             LISBON, _Novr._ 15_th_, 1836.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--On taking leave of you I promised to write from
Cadiz, and I still hope to perform my promise; but as I am apprehensive
that several days will elapse before I shall reach that place I avail
myself of the present opportunity of informing you that I am alive and
well, lest you should become uneasy at not hearing from me at the time
you expected.  It is owing to the mercy of God that, instead of being
able to pen these lines, I am not at the present moment floundering in
the brine, a prey to the fishes and monsters of the ocean.

We had a most unpleasant passage to Falmouth.  The ship was crowded with
passengers, most of whom were poor consumptive individuals and other
invalids, fleeing from the cold blasts of England's winter to the sunny
shores of Portugal and Madeira.  In a more uncomfortable vessel,
especially steam-ship, it has never been my fate to make a voyage; the
berths were small and insupportably close, and of the wretched holes mine
was amongst the worst, the rest having been for the most part bespoken
before I arrived on board, so that to avoid the suffocation which seemed
to threaten me I lay upon the floor of one of the cabins, and continued
to do so until my arrival here.  We remained at Falmouth twenty-four
hours, taking in coals and repairing the engine, which had sustained
considerable damage.

On Monday the 7th inst. we again started and made for the Bay of Biscay;
the sea was high and the wind strong and contrary, nevertheless on the
morning of the fourth day we were in sight of the rocky coast to the
north of Cape Finisterre.  I must here observe that this was the first
voyage that the captain who commanded the vessel had ever made on board
of her, and that he knew little or nothing about the coast towards which
we were bearing; he was a person picked up in a hurry, the former captain
having resigned his command on the ground that the ship was not
sea-worthy, and that the engines were frequently unserviceable.  I was
not acquainted with these circumstances at the time, or perhaps I should
have felt more alarmed than I did when I saw the vessel approaching
nearer and nearer to the shore, till at last we were only a few hundred
yards distant.  As it was, however, I felt very much surprised, for
having passed it twice before, both times in steam-vessels, and having
seen with what care the captains endeavoured to maintain a wide offing, I
could not conceive the reason of our being now so near the dangerous
region.  The wind was blowing hard towards the shore, if that can be
called a shore which consists of steep abrupt precipices, on which the
surf was breaking with the noise of thunder, tossing up clouds of spray
and foam to the height of a cathedral.  We coasted slowly along, rounding
several tall forelands, some of them piled up by the hand of nature in
the most fantastic shapes, until about the fall of night.  Cape
Finisterre was not far ahead, a bluff brown granite mountain, whose
frowning head may be seen far away by those who travel the ocean.  The
stream which poured round its breast was terrific, and though our engines
plied with all their force, we made little or no way.

By about eight o'clock at night, the wind had increased to a hurricane,
the thunder rolled frightfully, and the only light which we had to guide
us on our way was the red forked lightning which burst at times from the
bosom of the big black clouds which lowered over our heads.  We were
exerting ourselves to the utmost to weather the cape, which we could
descry by the lightning on our lee, its brow being frequently brilliantly
lighted up by the flashes which quivered around it, when suddenly, with a
great crash, the engine broke, and the paddles on which depended our
lives ceased to play.

I will not attempt to depict the scene of horror and confusion which
ensued: it may be imagined, but never described.  The captain, to give
him his due, displayed the utmost coolness and intrepidity, and he and
the whole crew made the greatest exertions to repair the engine, and when
they found their labour in vain, endeavoured by hoisting the sails and by
practising all possible manoeuvres to preserve the ship from impending
destruction.  But all was of no use; we were hard on a lee shore, to
which the howling tempest was impelling us.  About this time I was
standing near the helm, and I asked the steersman if there was any hope
of saving the vessel or our lives; he replied, 'Sir, it is a bad affair;
no boat could for a minute live in this sea, and in less than an hour the
ship will have her broadside on Finisterre, where the strongest
man-of-war ever built must go to shivers instantly.  None of us will see
the morning.'  The captain likewise informed the other passengers in the
cabin to the same effect, telling them to prepare themselves, and having
done so he ordered the door to be fastened, and none to be permitted to
come on deck.  I, however, kept my station, though almost drowned with
water, immense waves continually breaking over our windward side and
flooding the ship; the water-casks broke from their lashings, and one of
them struck me down, and crushed the foot of the unfortunate man at the
helm, whose place was instantly taken by the captain.  We were now close
on the rocks, when a horrid convulsion of the elements took place; the
lightning enveloped us as with a mantle, the thunders were louder than
the roar of a million cannon, the dregs of the ocean seemed to be cast
up, and in the midst of all this turmoil the wind, without the slightest
intimation _veered right about_, and pushed us from the horrible coast
faster than it had previously drawn us towards it.

The oldest sailors on board acknowledged that they had never witnessed so
providential an escape.  I said from the bottom of my heart, 'Our Father:
hallowed be Thy name.'  The next day we were near foundering, for the sea
was exceedingly high, and our vessel, which was not intended for sailing,
laboured terribly, and leaked much.  The pumps were continually working.
She likewise took fire, but the flames were extinguished.  In the evening
the steam-engine was partially repaired, and we reached Lisbon on the
13th.  Most of my clothes and other things are spoiled, for the hold was
overflowed with the water from the boiler and the leak.

The vessel will be ready for sea in about a week, when I shall depart for
Cadiz; but most of the passengers who intended going farther than Lisbon
have abandoned her, as they say she is doomed.  But I have more trust in
the Lord that governeth the winds, and in whose hands the seas are as a
drop.  He who preserved us at Finisterre can preserve elsewhere, and if
it be His will that we perish, the firm ground is not more secure than
the heaving sea.

I have seen our excellent friend Mr. Wilby, and delivered to him the
parcel, with which I was entrusted.  He has been doing everything in his
power to further the sale of the sacred volume in Portuguese; indeed his
zeal and devotedness are quite admirable, and the Society can never
appreciate his efforts too highly.  But since I was last at Lisbon the
distracted state of the country has been a great obstacle to him;
people's minds are so engrossed with politics that they find no time to
think of their souls.  Before this reaches you, you will doubtless have
heard of the late affair at Belem, where poor Freire (I knew him well)
one of the ex-Ministers lost his life, and which nearly ended in an
affray between the English forces and the native.  The opinions of the
Portuguese seem to be decidedly democratic, and I have little doubt that
were the English squadron withdrawn the unfortunate young Queen would
lose her crown within a month, and be compelled with her no less
unfortunate young husband to seek a refuge in another country.  I repeat
that I hope to write to you from Cadiz; I shall probably be soon in the
allotted field of my labours, distracted, miserable Spain.  The news from
thence is at present particularly dismal; the ferocious Gomez, after
having made an excursion into Estremadura, which he ravaged like a
pestilence, has returned to Andalusia, the whole of which immense
province seems to be prone at his feet.  I shall probably find Seville
occupied by his hordes, but I fear them not, and trust that the Lord will
open the path for me to Madrid.  One thing I am resolved upon: either to
be the instrument of doing something for Spain, or never to appear again
in my native land.

                                                                     G. B.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                       (_Endorsed_: recd. Dec. 28th, 1836)
                                              SEVILLE, _Dec._ 5_th_, 1836.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I arrived safely at Cadiz on the 21st ult.; the
steam-engine had been partially repaired at Lisbon, and our passage was
speedy and prosperous.  I was happy to have reached the shores of Spain,
being eager to enter upon my allotted task.  Cadiz is a small but
beautiful city, built upon a tongue of land and surrounded on all points
but one by the sea, which dashes up against its walls: the houses are
lofty, and of a dazzling whiteness; the streets are straight and narrow.
On my arrival I found great confusion reigning: numerous bands of the
factious were reported to be hovering in the neighbourhood, an attack was
not deemed improbable, and the place had just been declared in a state of
siege.  I took up my abode at the French Hotel, in the Calle de la
Niveria, and was allotted a species of cock-loft or garret to sleep in,
for the house was filled with guests, being a place of much resort on
account of the excellent _table d'hote_ which is kept there.  I dressed
myself and walked about the town.  I entered several coffee houses: the
din of tongues in all was deafening; in one no less than six orators were
haranguing at the same time on the state of the country, and the
probability of an intervention on the part of England and France.  As I
was listening to one of them he suddenly called upon me for my opinion,
as I was a foreigner, and seemingly just arrived.  I replied that I could
not venture to guess what steps the two Governments would pursue under
the present circumstances, but thought that it would be as well if the
Spaniards would exert themselves more, and call less on Jupiter.  As I
did not wish to engage in any political conversation I instantly quitted
the house, and sought those parts of the town where the lower classes
principally reside.

I entered into discourse with several individuals, but found them very
ignorant; none could write or read, and their ideas respecting religion
were anything but satisfactory, most professing a perfect indifference.
I afterwards went into a bookseller's shop, and made enquiries respecting
the demand for literature, which he informed me was small.  I produced
our 24mo edition of the New Testament in Spanish, and asked the
bookseller whether he thought a book of that description would sell in
Cadiz.  He said it was exceedingly beautiful, both in type and paper, but
it was a work not sought after, and very little known.  I did not pursue
my enquiries in other shops, for I reflected that I was not very likely
to receive a very favourable opinion from booksellers respecting a
publication in which they had no interest.  I had, moreover, but two or
three copies of the New Testament with me, and could not have supplied
them had they given me an order.

That night I became very unwell, and was apprehending that I had been
seized with the cholera, as the symptoms of my complaint were very
similar to those which accompany that disorder.  I was for some time in
most acute pain, and terribly sick; I drank oil mixed with brandy, and in
some degree recovered, and for the two succeeding days was very feeble,
and able to undertake nothing.  This attack was the cause of my not
writing to you from Cadiz as I had fully intended.

Early on the 24th I embarked for Seville in the small Spanish steamer the
_Betis_.  The morning was wet, and the aspect of nature was enveloped in
a dense mist, which prevented my observing surrounding objects.  After
proceeding about six leagues, we reached the north-eastern extremity of
the bay of Cadiz, and passed by Saint Lucar, an ancient town close by
where the Guadalquivir disembogues itself.  The mist suddenly
disappeared, and the sun of Spain burst forth in full brilliancy,
enlivening all around, and particularly myself, who had till then been
lying on the deck in a dull melancholy stupor.  We entered the mouth of
the 'Great River,' for that is the English translation of _Qued al
Kiber_, as the Moors designated the ancient Betis.  We came to anchor for
a few minutes at a little village called Bonanca, at the extremity of the
first reach of the river, where we received several passengers, and again
proceeded.  There is not much in the appearance of the Guadalquivir to
interest the traveller: the banks are low and destitute of trees, the
adjacent country is flat, and only in the distance is seen a range of
tall blue sierras.  The water is turbid and muddy, and in colour closely
resembling the contents of a duck-pool; the average width of the stream
is from 150 to 200 yards.  But it is impossible to move along this river
without remembering that it has borne the Roman, the Vandal, and the
Arab, and has been the witness of deeds which have resounded through the
world, and been the themes of immortal song.  I repeated Latin verses and
fragments of old Spanish ballads, till we reached Seville at about nine
o'clock of a lovely moonlight night.

Before entering upon more important matter I will say a few words
respecting Seville and its curiosities.  It contains 90,000 inhabitants,
and is situated on the left bank of the Guadalquivir, about eighteen
leagues from its mouth.  It is surrounded with high Moorish walls, in a
good state of preservation, and built of such durable materials that it
is probable they will for many centuries bid defiance to the encroachment
of time.  The most remarkable edifices are the cathedral and Alcazar or
palace of the Moorish kings.  The tower of the former, called La Giralda,
belongs to the period of the Moors, and formed part of the Grand Mosque
of Seville.  It is 220 ells in height, and is ascended not by stairs or
ladders, but by a vaulted pathway, in the manner of an inclined plane;
this path is by no means steep, so that a cavalier might ride up to the
top, a feat which Ferdinand the Seventh is said to have accomplished.
The view from the summit is very extensive, and on a fine clear day the
ridge called the Sierra de Ronda may be discovered though the distance is
upward of twenty-two leagues.  The cathedral itself is a noble Gothic
structure, reputed the finest of the kind in Spain.  In the chapels
allotted to the various saints are some of the most magnificent paintings
which Spanish art has produced.  Here are to be seen the far-famed 'Angel
of the Guard,' by Murillo, his 'Saint Anthony at Devotion,' the celestial
spirits hovering around him, and Saint Thomas of Villa Nueva bestowing
Charity'; there are also some pictures by Soberan [? Zurbaran] of almost
inestimable value.  Indeed, the cathedral at Seville is at the present
time far more rich in splendid paintings than at any former period,
possessing many very recently removed from some of the suppressed
convents, particularly from the Capuchin and Franciscan.

No one should visit Seville without paying particular attention to the
Alcazar.  It is perhaps the most perfect specimen of Moorish architecture
which is at present to be found in Europe.  It contains many splendid
halls, particularly that of the Ambassadors, so called, which is in every
respect more magnificent than the one of the same name within the
Alhambra of Granada.  This palace was a favourite residence of Peter the
Cruel, who carefully repaired it, without altering its Moorish character
and appearance.  It probably remains in much the same state as at the
time of his death.

On the right side of the river is a large suburb called Triana,
communicating with Seville by means of a bridge of boats; for there is no
permanent bridge across the Guadalquivir owing to the violent inundations
to which it is subject.  This suburb is inhabited by the dregs of the
populace, and abounds with Gitanos or Gypsies.  About a league and a half
to the north-west stands the village of Santo Ponce; at the foot and on
the side of some elevated ground higher up are to be seen vestiges of
ruined walls and edifices which once formed part of Italica, the
birth-place of Silius Italicus and Trajan, from which latter personage
Triana derives its name.  One fine morning I walked thither, and having
ascended the hill I directed my course northward.  I soon reached what
had once been bagnios, and a little farther on, in a kind of valley
between two gentle acclivities, the amphitheatre.  This latter object is
by far the most considerable relic of ancient Italica; it is oval in its
form, with two gateways, fronting the east and west.  On all sides are to
be seen the time-worn broken granite benches, from whence myriads of
human beings once gazed down on the area below, where the gladiator
shouted, and the lion and leopard yelled.  All around beneath these
flights of benches are vaulted excavations, from whence the combatants,
part human, part bestial, darted forth by their several doors.  I spent
several hours in this singular place, forcing my way through the wild
fennel and brushwood into the caverns, now the haunts of adders and other
reptiles, whose hissings I heard.  Having sated my curiosity, I left the
ruins, and returning by another way reached a place where lay the carcase
of a horse half-devoured.  Upon it with lustrous eyes stood an enormous
vulture, who, as I approached, slowly soared aloft till he alighted on
the eastern gate of the amphitheatre, from whence he uttered a hoarse
cry, as if in anger that I had disturbed him from his feast of carrion.

And now for another subject.  You are doubtless anxious to know what are
my projects, and why I am not by this time further advanced on my way to
Madrid; know then that the way to Madrid is beset with more perils than
harassed Christian in his route to the Eternal Kingdom.  Almost all
communication is at an end between this place and the capital, the
diligences and waggons have ceased running, even the bold _arrieros_ or
muleteers are at a stand-still; and the reason is that the rural portion
of Spain, especially this part, is in a state of complete disorganisation
and of blackest horror.  The three fiends, famine, plunder, and murder,
are playing their ghastly revels unchecked; bands of miscreants captained
by such--what shall I call them?--as Orejita and Palillos, are prowling
about in every direction, and woe to those whom they meet.  A few days
since they intercepted an unfortunate courier, and after scooping out his
eyes put him to death with most painful tortures, and mangled his body in
a way not to be mentioned.  Moreover, the peasantry, who have been
repeatedly plundered by these fellows, and who have had their horses and
cattle taken from them by the Carlists, being reduced with their families
to nakedness and the extreme of hunger, seize in rage and desperation
upon every booty which comes within their reach, a circumstance which can
awaken but little surprise.

This terrible state of things, staring me in the face on my arrival at
Seville, made me pause.  I thought that the tempest might in some degree
subside, but hitherto I have been disappointed.  My mind is at present
made up.  I shall depart for Madrid in two or three days, at all risks.
The distance is 300 miles.  I shall hire, in the first place, horses, and
a guide, as far as Cordova (twenty-six leagues).  I shall have to pay a
great price, it is true, but I have money, praised be God, who inspired
me with the idea of putting fifty sovereigns in my pocket when I left
London.  I should otherwise be helpless.  From Cordova I must endeavour
to obtain horses to Val de Penas (twenty leagues), which is half way to
Madrid.  Were I at Val de Penas, I should feel comparatively at ease; for
from thence I know the road, having traversed it in my ways from Madrid
to Grenada; it moreover runs through La Mancha, which, though infested
with banditti, is plain open ground, and if I could obtain no guide or
horses, or had been plundered of my money, I might hope to make my way on
foot.  But I am ignorant of the country between Seville and Cordova, and
from Cordova to Val de Penas.  The route is through the dismal and savage
mountains of the Sierra Morena, where I should inevitably be bewildered,
and perhaps, if not murdered, fall a prey to the wolves.  Were the whole
way known to me, I would leave my baggage here and dressed as a beggar or
Gypsy set out on foot; strange as this plan may sound in English ears, it
would be the safest course I could pursue.  Should I perish in this
journey, keep the affair secret as long as possible from my dear mother,
and when it should be necessary to reveal it to her, do me the favour to
go to Norwich on purpose; should I reach Madrid, you will hear from me in
about five weeks, from the time you receive this.  It would be of no
utility to write to you from Cordova; the letter would never reach you, I
hope this will.

Gomez had not hitherto paid a visit to Seville; when I arrived here, he
was said to be in the neighbourhood of Ronda.  The city was under watch
and ward, several gates had been blocked up with masonry, trenches dug,
and redoubts erected, but I am convinced that the place would not have
held out six hours against a resolute assault.  Gomez has proved himself
to be a most extraordinary man, and with his small army of Aragonese and
Basques has within the last four months made the tour of Spain; he has
very frequently been hemmed in with forces three times the number of his
own, in places whence escape seemed impossible, but he has always baffled
his enemies, whom he seems to laugh at.  The most absurd accounts of
victories gained over him are continually issuing from the press at
Seville; the other day it was stated that his army had been utterly
defeated, himself killed, and that 1200 prisoners were on their way to
Seville.  I saw these prisoners; instead of 1200 desperadoes, they
consisted of about twenty poor lame ragged wretches, many of them boys
from fourteen to sixteen years of age; they were evidently
camp-followers, who, unable to keep up with the army, had been picked up
straggling in the plains and amongst the hills.  It now appears that no
battle had occurred, and that the death of Gomez was a fiction.  The
grand defect of Gomez is not knowing how to take advantage of
circumstances; after his defeat of Lopez he might have marched to Madrid
and proclaimed Don Carlos there, and after sacking Cordova, he might have
captured Seville.

There are several booksellers' shops in Seville, in two of which I found
copies of the New Testament (our own 12mo edition of 1826); they had been
obtained from Gibraltar about two years since, during which time six
copies had been sold in one shop and four in the other.  I have become
acquainted with an elderly person, a Genoese by birth, who, should we
succeed in bringing out an edition of the sacred volume at Madrid, may be
of service to us, as a colporteur in this place and the neighbourhood,
where he is well known.  He has assured me of his willingness to
undertake the task, and, if required, to visit Cordova, Grenada, or any
part of Andalusia, town or country; he has been accustomed to
bookselling, and at one time he also brought some of our Testaments from
Gibraltar, all of which were however taken from him by the Custom House
officers with the exception of one copy, which he afterwards disposed of
to a lady for 30 _reals_ (6s. 6d.).  Should the Bible Society be desirous
to circulate the book in the rural districts of Spain, they must be
prepared to make considerable sacrifices.  In some of the towns,
especially the sea-ports, it is probable that many copies may be disposed
of, at a fair price; but can it be expected that amongst myriads, who are
in want of the common necessaries of life, who are without food, fuel or
clothing, and on whose wretched heads the horrors which civil war--and
such a civil war--have principally fallen, [men] can have money for
books?  I am willing to visit every part of Spain, and to risk my life a
thousand times in laying God's Word before the people, but I can promise
no more.  I have no extraordinary powers, indeed scarcely those allotted
to the average of humanity; God, it is true, can operate wonders by any
instrument, but we must bide His will.

I have had the good fortune to form the acquaintance of Mr. Wetherell, an
English gentleman, who has for many years been established in a very
important branch of business at Seville.  He takes a warm interest in my
mission, and has frequently informed me that nothing will afford him
greater pleasure than to further the cause at this place and in the
neighbourhood; as he employs a vast number of individuals, I have little
doubt that he has the power, as he certainly has the will.  He is a
virtuoso and possesses a singular collection of the ancient idols of
Mexico, which bear a surprising resemblance to those used by the
followers of the Buddhist superstition.  In return for a translation of
an Arabic inscription which I made for him, he presented me with a copy
of the Cabalistic book Zohar, in the Rabbinical language and character,
which on the destruction of the Inquisition at Seville (1820) he obtained
from the library of that horrible tribunal.

Pray remember me to Mr. Jowett and Mr. Browne and my other friends.  May
the Lord bless you, my dear Sir.

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. Jany. 6, 1837)
                                          MADRID, _December_ 26_th_, 1836.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I am just arrived at Madrid in safety.  It has
pleased the Lord to protect me through the perils of a most dismal
journey.  I reached Cordova in three days, attended by the old Italian
whom I mentioned in my last letter, for I could procure no other guide.
From Cordova I have ridden to Madrid in the company of a
_contrabandista_, or smuggler, whose horses I insured, and to whom I am
to give a gratuity of 42 dollars.  We passed through the horrible pass of
Despena Perros in the Sierra Morena.  Providence here manifested itself;
the day before, the banditti of the pass committed a dreadful robbery and
murder by which they sacked 40,000 _reals_; they were probably content
with their booty and did not interrupt me and my guide.  We entered La
Mancha, where I expected to fall into the hands of Palillos and Orejita.
Providence again showed itself.  It had been delicious weather; suddenly
the Lord breathed forth a frozen blast, the severity of which was almost
intolerable; no human being but ourselves ventured forth; we traversed
snow-covered plains and passed through villages and towns without seeing
an individual; the robbers kept close in their caves and hovels, but the
cold nearly killed me.  We reached Aranjuez late on Christmas day, and I
got into the house of an Englishman, where I swallowed nearly two bottles
of brandy; it affected me no more than warm water.  I am now at my
journey's end, and shall presently fall to work, for I must lose no time,
but profit by the present opportunity.  All is quiet in Madrid and in the
neighbourhood; Gomez has returned to Biscay.  If my letter be somewhat
incoherent, mind it not.  I have just alighted, and the cold has still
the mastery of me; I shall send a journal in a few days which will be
more circumstantial.  Write to my mother and say I am in safety.  I shall
write myself to-morrow, I can no more now.

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To J. Tarn, Esq.

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. Jany. 9, 1837)
                                           No. 16 PISO 3RO CALLE SAN IAGO,
                                              MADRID, _Dec._ 31_st_, 1836.

MY DEAR SIR,--I forward the bill of my expenses from the moment of my
quitting London up to the time of my arrival at Madrid.  When it is
considered that I have been nearly two months on this most perilous
journey, it will probably not be deemed extravagant; should that however
be the case, I shall be very willing to defray from my salary any
deduction which may be made.  I beg leave to call your attention
particularly to the expense of horse-hire.  I paid an ounce of gold for
two miserable animals from Seville to Cordova, I had to maintain them by
the way, to pay their expenses back, and to provide a guide.  Neither of
the horses was worth what I paid for their hire; it is true their master
risked their being captured by the bands of robbers from whom I
providentially escaped.  It will in future be much cheaper to purchase
horses.  You will oblige me by informing me how my account with you
stands, for it seems I was indebted to you on departing.  I have seen Mr.
O'Shea and Mr. Wood; with the assistance of the former gentleman I hope
to obtain the paper for the work at a considerable less price than that
stated in Mr. W.'s estimate, as Mr. O'Shea is connected with the
paper-mills of Catalonia.  I shall write to Mr. Brandram in a few days
and in the meanwhile remain, etc.,

                                                                G. BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                        (_Endorsed_: recd. Jany. 24, 1837)
                                                 _Jany._ 14, 1837, MADRID.
                                          CALLE SAN IAGO No. 16, PISO 3RO.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--Immediately on my arrival at Madrid, which occurred
on the 26th of last month, I despatched letters to yourself and Mr. Tarn,
in that to Mr. T. was enclosed an account of my expenses, both of which
letters I hope have arrived in safety.  I now take up the pen to acquaint
you with what I have done since my arrival, and what I, with the Lord's
assistance, purpose doing.

My first care was to wait on my excellent friend, Mr. Villiers, who
received me with his usual kindness.  I asked him if it were his opinion
that I might venture to commence printing the Scriptures without an
application to the present Government, as the law is doubtful on the
point.  His reply was satisfactory: 'You obtained the permission of the
Government of Isturitz,' said he, 'which was a much less liberal one than
the present; I am a witness to the promise made to you by the former
Ministers, which I consider sufficient; you had best commence and
complete the work as soon as possible, without any fresh application, and
should any one attempt to interrupt you, you have only to come to me,
whom you may command at any time.'--I went away with a light heart.

I next visited Mr. O'Shea, who was very glad to see me again, and assured
me that he took the greatest interest in my undertaking, and should be
happy to further it to the utmost of his power.  I knew that he had been
connected with the paper-manufactories of the south, and a thought struck
me.  You will remember that I brought over specimens of paper from thirty
to eighty _reals_ per ream, and that I was authorised to purchase 600
{197} reams of paper at 60 _reals_ per ream.  I asked Mr. O'Shea if he
did not think that, through his connections, he could procure me such
paper as I wanted at a much cheaper rate than it was possible for me to
obtain it; he said he would make enquiries.  I returned in a few days: he
had performed more than I expected, and he showed me paper at 45 _reals_,
better than what I could have purchased at 70, likewise some very good at
37.  I hesitated for some time between these two specimens; I at length,
however, determined to purchase that at 45 _reals_.  I am therefore able
to communicate that in paper alone 9000 _reals_ will have been saved to
the funds of the Society, and at the same time a superior article have
been procured.

I found that during my absence from Madrid Mr. Wood had quitted Mr.
Borrego, and had accepted a situation in another printing establishment;
but as Mr. Borrego is in possession of the only English press at Madrid,
is moreover an intimate friend of Mr. O'Shea, and above all enjoys the
good opinion of Mr. Villiers who interests himself in his welfare, I am
determined to entrust the printing to him.  Mr. Borrego has agreed to
make a reduction of 10 _reals_ per sheet in his estimate, which I
consider very liberal conduct, as the former charge, considering the rate
of printing at Madrid, was by no means high.  We have resolved to print
the work precisely the same in shape and size as the copy entrusted to my
charge, except that we shall substitute single for double columns.

I shall look over each sheet of the work myself, but in order to bring
out as correct an edition as possible I have engaged the literary
assistance of Dr. Usoz, the gentleman who some time since addressed a
letter to the Society, in which he expressed a wish to become a member.
He is one of the best Castilian scholars in Madrid, and, as he feels zeal
in the cause, will, I have no doubt, prove eminently useful.  Any
remuneration for his labour he will leave to the consideration of the
Bible Society and myself.

We shall commence printing within a few days, and I expect to have the
work ready within ten weeks.

Now permit me to propose a very important question to you.  What is to be
done with the volumes when the work shall have passed through the press?
As I am sure you will feel at a loss to give a satisfactory answer, allow
me to propose the only plan which appears feasible.  Believe me when I
say that it is not the result of a few moments' cogitation.  I have mused
on it much and often.  I mused on it when off Cape Finisterre in the
tempest, in the cut-throat passes of the Morena, and on the plains of La
Mancha, as I jogged along a little way ahead of the smuggler.  It is

As soon as the work is printed and bound, I will ride forth from Madrid
into the wildest parts of Spain, where the Word is most wanted, and where
it seems next to an impossibility to introduce it.  I will go through the
whole of the Asturias and Galicia, and along the entire line of the
Pyrenees, not forgetting to visit every part of Biscay.  To accomplish
this I must have horses and a man to take care of them.  To purchase
horses will be much more economical than to hire them, as the hire of an
animal for a journey of only thirty leagues generally amounts to nearly
its full value; the purchase of three horses will not amount to more than
36 pounds, and a servant may be obtained for 9d. per day and his board.

I will take with me 1200 copies, which I will engage to dispose of, for
little or much, to the wild people of the wild regions which I intend to
visit.  As for the rest of the edition it must be disposed of, if
possible, in a different way--I may say the usual way; part must be
entrusted to booksellers, part to colporteurs, and a depot must be
established at Madrid.  Such work is every person's work, and to any one
may be confided the execution of it; it is a mere affair of trade.  What
I wish to be employed in is what, I am well aware, no other individual
will undertake to do: namely, to scatter the Word upon the mountains,
amongst the valleys and the inmost recesses of the worst and most
dangerous parts of Spain, where the people are more fierce, fanatic and,
in a word, Carlist,--parts where bookshops are unknown, and where none of
those means can be resorted to for the spread of the Bible which can be
used in the more civilised portions of the kingdom.

This is the plan which I most humbly offer to the consideration of the
Committee and yourself.  I shall not feel at all surprised should it be
disapproved of altogether; but I wish it to be understood that in that
event I could do nothing further than see the work through the press, as
I am confident that whatever ardour and zeal I at present feel in the
cause would desert me immediately, and that I should neither be able nor
willing to execute anything which might be suggested.  I wish to engage
in nothing which would not allow me to depend entirely on myself.  It
would be heart-breaking to me to remain at Madrid, expending the
Society's money, with almost the certainty of being informed eventually
by the booksellers and their correspondents that the work has no sale.
In a word, to make sure that some copies find their way among the people
I must be permitted to carry them to the people myself; and what people
have more need of Christian instruction than the inhabitants of the
districts alluded to?

Ere the return of the _contrabandista_ to Cordova, I purchased one of the
horses which had brought us to Madrid.  It is an exceedingly strong,
useful animal, and as I had seen what it is capable of performing, I gave
him the price which he demanded (about 11 pounds, 17s.).  It will go
twelve leagues a day with ease, and carry three hundred-weight on its
back.  I am looking out for another, but shall of course make no further
purchase until I hear from you.  I confess I would sooner provide myself
with mules, but they are very expensive creatures.  In the first place,
the original cost of a tolerable one amounts to 30 pounds; and they,
moreover, consume a vast quantity of fodder, at least two pecks of barley
in the twenty-four hours with straw in proportion, and if they are
stinted in their food they are of no manner of service; the attendance
which they require is likewise very irksome, as they must be fed once
every four hours night and day; they are, however, noble animals, and are
much in vogue amongst the principal nobility.

Hoping to hear from you soon, I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, most truly

                                                                     G. B.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. Mar. 6, 1837)
                                          MADRID, No. 16 CALLE SANT. IAGO,
                                                         _Feby._ 27, 1837.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I have received your letter of the 27th ult.
containing the resolution of the Committee, and also yours of the [17th]
ult. with my account.  I was exceedingly grieved at learning that poor
Mr. Tarn has been removed, for he was a most worthy person, and the Bible
Society will experience a severe loss in his death; but I hope and trust
that eventually some one will be found worthy to succeed him.  He is
doubtless at present in the other world receiving the reward of his faith
in this; let us pray that we may be counted worthy to join him there!

By the time these lines reach you the four Gospels will have passed
through the press; for the work is going on well and prosperously, and I
have little doubt that within five weeks it will be completed.  I have
already entered into arrangements respecting the binding with Mr.
Borrego, who is about to unite bookbinding with printing; the terms are
very reasonable, considering the current prices of the country, as I am
to pay but three _reals_ per volume for a calf binding similar to that of
the copy which was entrusted to me.  I have reckoned that the expense of
each book, printing, paper, and binding included, will but barely amount
to 15 _reals_; and cheaper than this it is utterly impossible to bring
out a work of the size of the New Testament, handsomely and creditably in

Within a few days I shall despatch letters circular to all the principal
booksellers in Spain, specifying the nature, size and quality of the
work, and inviting them to subscribe at 15 _reals_ per copy, the prime
cost; for if anything will tempt them to a speculation of the kind, it
will be the hope and prospect of making a very handsome profit.  Yet they
are so short-sighted and, like all their countrymen, so utterly
unacquainted with the rudiments of business, that it is by no means
improbable that they, one and all, take no notice of this proposal, which
is however the only plan which at present appears available for promoting
the _general_ circulation of the Scriptures.

Dr. Usoz, the gentleman who is at present assisting me in the editing of
the work in question, is very anxious to become a member and a
correspondent of the Bible Society.  His letter on that subject I
translated and transmitted previous to my last visit to England, but he
has never received an answer.  I beg leave to say that I am extremely
desirous that his request be granted, and that he be written to without
delay; and I must moreover beg to be furnished with a written or printed
authority to establish a branch Bible Society in Madrid, and to nominate
Dr. Usoz as secretary.

That part of my last letter, where I stated my wish of making a tour
through the Asturias, Galicia, and the Biscays, as soon as the work
should be completed, does not seem to have been clearly understood.  I
did not intend to devote myself entirely to _the wild people_, but to
visit the villages and towns as well as the remote and secluded glens.  I
intended to take letters of introduction to some of the most respectable
people of Oviedo, of Corunna, of Lugo, of Vigo, Pontevedro, Barbastro,
Bilboa, etc., and to establish depots of Bibles in those towns; but in my
way I intended to visit the secret and secluded spots amongst the rugged
hills and mountains, and to talk to the people, after my manner, of
Christ and to explain to them the nature of His book, and to place that
book in the hands of those whom I should deem capable of deriving benefit
from it.  True it is that such a journey would be attended with
considerable danger, and very possibly the fate of St. Stephen might
befall the adventurer; but does the man deserve the name of a follower of
Christ who would shrink from danger of any kind in the cause of Him whom
he calls his Master?  'He who loses his life for My sake, shall save it,'
are words which the Lord Himself uttered, and words surely fraught with
consolation to every one engaged in propagating His Gospel in savage and
barbarian lands.

About a fortnight since I purchased another horse, for these animals are
at present exceedingly cheap.  A royal requisition is about to be issued
for 5000, and the consequence is that an immense number are for sale; for
by virtue of this requisition the horses of any person not a foreigner
can be seized for the benefit of the service.  It is probable that when
the number is made up the price of horses will be treble what it is at
present, which consideration induced me to purchase this animal before I
exactly want him.  He is a black Andalusian stallion of great size and
strength, and capable of performing a journey of 100 leagues in a week's
time, but he is unbroke, savage and furious.  However, a cargo of Bibles
which I hope shortly to put on his back will, I have no doubt, thoroughly
tame him, especially when labouring up the flinty hills of the north of
Spain.  I wished to purchase a mule, according to my instructions, but
though I offered 30 pounds for a sorry one, I could not obtain her;
whereas the cost of both the horses, tall, powerful, stately animals,
scarcely amounted to that sum.

I will now say a few words respecting the state of Spain, though what I
communicate will probably startle you, as in England you are quite in the
dark respecting what is going on here.  At the moment I am writing,
Cabrera, the tiger-friar, is within nine leagues of Madrid with an army
nearly ten thousand strong; he has beaten the Queen's troops in several
engagements, and has ravaged La Mancha with fire and sword, burning
several towns; bands of affrighted fugitives are arriving every hour
bringing tidings of woe and disaster, and I am but surprised that the
enemy does not appear, and by taking Madrid, which is at his mercy, put
an end to the war at once.  But the truth is, the Carlist generals do not
wish the war to cease; for as long as the country is involved in
bloodshed and anarchy, they can plunder and exercise that lawless
authority so dear to men of fierce and brutal passions.  Cabrera is a
wretch whose sole enjoyment consists in inflicting pain and torture and
causing woe and misery to his fellow creatures; he is one of the
instruments of the anger of the Almighty, a scourge in the hand of
Providence to chastise a land whose wickedness had become intolerable.
For the elect's sake, and there are a few even in Spain, may it please
the Lord to shorten the affliction of these days, or all flesh must

I remain, dear Sir, most truly yours,

                                                                     G. B.

_P.S._--Pray let me hear from you shortly, and remember me particularly
to Mr. Jowett and Mr. Browne.

_P.S._ 2.--I have already paid, in part, for the printing and paper, as
you will have concluded by my draft.  The Gospel of Saint Luke, in the
Rommany language, is nearly ready for the press.  It is my intention to
subjoin a vocabulary of all the words used, with an explanation in the
Spanish language.

Before I left England I was authorised to look out for a person competent
to translate the Scriptures in Basque (Spanish).  I am acquainted with a
gentleman who is well versed in that dialect, of which I myself have some
knowledge.  Perhaps it would not be unwise to engage him to translate St.
Luke as a trial of his powers.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. Mar. 25, 1837)
                                  MADRID, No. 16 CALLE SANT IAGO PISO 3RO.
                                                     [_March_ 16th, 1837].

REVD. SIR,--I write a few lines for the purpose of informing you that the
New Testament in Castilian will be ready in a few days, probably before
you receive this epistle, should it reach you, which I have some doubts
of from the terrible and distracted state of Spain at the present time.

The work has been printed on the best paper, and no pains have been
spared, at least on my part, to render it as correct as possible, having
read every proof-sheet three times.  I must here take the liberty of
observing that the work executed in London, and of which a copy was
delivered to me to print from, abounds in errors of every kind and
reflects little credit on the person who edited it; no systematic order
is observed either in the orthography or the use of accents or capitals,
and whole sentences frequently appear in a mangled and mutilated state
which renders them unintelligible.

On my final settlement with Mr. Borrego I shall send a regular account of
my disbursements; he has already received two-thirds of his money, as you
will have conjectured from the bills I have drawn.  I wish very much that
the Committee would vote a letter of thanks to Mr. Henry O'Shea for the
interest which he has taken in this affair and the assistance which he
has rendered.  I shall write again in a few days.  I am afraid that you
did not receive my last letter.

I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, most faithfully yours,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. Decr. 1, 1837)
                                                 MADRID, _April_ 27, 1837.

MY DEAR SIR,--Please to let the bearer have the under-mentioned Bibles;
they are for Dr. Usoz, from whom I have received their value.

Entire Bible in German.

Entire Bible in Modern Greek.

Do.    do.   in Portuguese.

If possible, I should wish to have the New Testament in Persian, for my
own private use.

Most sincerely yours,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

The Basque translation of St. Luke is completed and in my possession; the
whole expense attending it amounts to 8 pounds and a few odd shillings.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. May 13, 1837)
                                               [MADRID, 29 _April_, 1837].

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--Do me the favour after reading the enclosed letter,
and making what use of it you please, to seal it, pay the postage, and
despatch it to Russia.  It contains all I have at present to say, and is
as much intended for yourself, as for the person to whom it is directed.
I leave Madrid in about three days, and it is my intention to write
frequently whilst upon my journey; but should few letters reach you, be
not surprised, but attribute it to the state of the country, which is
terrible indeed.  I am first going to Salamanca, by the pass of the
Guadarama; from thence to Burgos; then to the Asturias, Galicia, and
Biscay, and along the whole chain of the Pyrenees.

Some hundreds of our books have been placed in the hands of a bookseller
at Madrid, and I have ordered them to be advertised, once a week, in the
principal journals.  Dr. Usoz and another friend will do what they can in
my absence.

To-morrow I send the bill of my expenses; it would have been despatched
sooner, but I could not obtain my account from Mr. O'Shea.

I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, most faithfully yours,

                                                                G. BORROW.

_P.S._--My best remembrances to Mr. Jowett, Mr. Browne, and all my

To Mr. John Hasfeldt

                                                 MADRID, 29 _April_, 1837.

I received your letter of last January a few weeks since, and I sincerely
hope that mine of February may have reached your hands.  The principal
reason of my taking up the pen at present is the long and adventurous
journey which I am about to engage in, and which I am afraid will
preclude the possibility of my writing to you for some months.  In a few
days I quit Madrid, it being my intention to visit the mountainous
districts of Spain, particularly Galicia and the Basque Provinces, for
the purpose of disposing of part of the edition of the New Testament in
Spanish, lately completed at Madrid, under my superintendence.  It was my
intention to have set out sooner, but the state of the weather has been
such that I thought it more prudent to defer my departure; during the
last two months violent and bitter winds have blown without ceasing,
before whose baneful influence animal and vegetable nature seems to have
quailed.  I was myself, during a fortnight, prostrated, body and limb, by
a violent attack of _la grippe_, or, as it is styled in English, the
'influenza.'  I am, however, by the blessing of the Almighty, perfectly
recovered and enjoying excellent spirits, but multitudes less favoured
have perished, especially the poor.

I expect to be absent on my journey about five months, when, if I am
spared, not having fallen a prey to sickness, Carlists, banditti, or wild
beasts, I shall return to Madrid for the purpose of carrying through the
press my own translation of the Gospel of St. Luke in the language of the
Spanish Gypsies, and also the same Gospel in Cantabrian or Basque,
executed by the domestic physician of the Marquis of Salvatierra.  What I
am destined to do subsequently I know not; but I should wish to visit
China by a land journey, either through Russia, or by Constantinople
[and] Armenia as far as the Indian Gulf; as it is my opinion that, with
God's permission, I might sow some seed by the way which might in time
yield a good harvest.

Speaking of these matters reminds me that in your next letter (written in
your usual choice Danish) you might send me some useful information
respecting what might be done in Russia.  Do you think permission might
be obtained to print the New Testament in Russ, and that the Russian
Hierarchy would be inclined to offer any serious opposition?  I wish you
would speak to Gretsch on the subject, to whom you will, as usual,
present my kindest remembrances.  I believe you are acquainted with Mrs.
Biller, but if not, you would confer a great favour upon me by calling on
her, and requesting her opinion, as she is better acquainted than perhaps
any person in Russia with the course to be pursued if the attempt were to
be hazarded.  Perhaps at the same time you will enquire of her as to what
has become of my translation into Russ of the second and third Homilies
which I left with her, and whether license to print has been obtained.
If not, I should wish that energetic steps be taken to that effect, and
as you are an energetic person, and she may possibly have too many
important affairs upon her hands, I pray you to take the matter up, but
at all events to follow her advice; pray remember me to her likewise.
The translation was corrected by that unfortunate man Nicanoff, who,
though he lived and died a drunkard, was an excellent Russian scholar;
therefore I think that no objection can reasonably be made in respect to
style, though indeed the original is very plain and homely, being adapted
to the most common understanding.  I offer no apology for giving you all
this trouble, as I am fully aware that you are at all times eagerly ready
to perform anything which I may consider as a service rendered to myself.

Spain at present, I am sorry to say, is in a more distracted and
convulsed situation than at any former period, and the prospect is gloomy
in the extreme.  The Queen's troops have sustained of late grievous
defeats in the Basque provinces and Valencia, and a Carlist expedition of
18,000 men, whose object is to ravage Castile and to carry the war to the
gates of Madrid, is shortly expected to pass the Ebro.  From what I have
seen and heard of the demoralised state of the Cristinos forces, I
believe they will meet with no effectual resistance, and that Cristina
and her daughter will be compelled to flee from the capital to Cadiz, or
to some strong frontier town.  Nevertheless, such is the nature of the
Spanish people, that it is impossible to say whether the liberal cause
(as it is called) be desperate or not, as neither one party nor the other
knows how to improve an advantage.  Twice might Don Carlos have marched
to Madrid and seized the crown; and more than once his army has been at
the mercy of the Cristinos; yet still is the affair undecided, and will
perhaps continue so for years.  The country is, as you may well conceive,
in a most distracted state; robbery and murder are practised with
impunity, and the roads are in such an insecure state that almost all
communication has ceased between one town and another; yet I am going
forth without the slightest fear, trusting in God; for if He is with me,
who shall stand against me?

I have a servant, a person who has been a soldier for fifteen years, who
will go with me for the purpose of attending to the horses and otherwise
assisting me in my labours.  His conduct on the journey is the only thing
to which I look forward with uneasiness; for though he has some good
points, yet in many respects a more atrocious fellow never existed.  He
is inordinately given to drink, and of so quarrelsome a disposition that
he is almost constantly involved in some broil.  Like most of his
countrymen, he carries an exceedingly long knife, which he frequently
unsheaths and brandishes in the faces of those who are unfortunate enough
to awaken his choler.  It is only a few days since that I rescued the
maid-servant of the house from his grasp, whom otherwise he would
undoubtedly have killed, and all because she too much burnt a red herring
which he had given her to cook.  You perhaps wonder that I retain a
person of this description, but, bad as he is, he is the best servant I
can obtain; he is very honest, a virtue which is rarely to be found in a
Spanish servant, and I have no fear of his running away with the horses
during the journey, after having perhaps knocked me on the head in some
lone _posada_.  He is moreover acquainted with every road, cross-road,
river, and mountain in Spain, and is therefore a very suitable squire for
an errant knight, like myself.  On my arrival in Biscay I shall perhaps
engage one of the uncorrupted Basque peasants, who has never left his
native mountains and is utterly ignorant of the Spanish language, for I
am told that they are exceedingly faithful and laborious.  The best
servant I ever had was the Tartar Mahmoud at St. Petersburg, and I have
frequently repented that I did not bring him with me on my leaving
Russia; but I was not then aware that I was about to visit this
unfortunate country, where goodness of every description is so difficult
to find.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. May 23, 1837)
                                               MADRID, _May_ 10_th_, 1837.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I herewith send the long promised account of my
private expenses, which I hope will be found correct.  I start to-morrow
for Salamanca, at which place I should now be, but for the misconduct of
my servant, whom I have been compelled to turn away.  I have experienced
great difficulty in obtaining another; my present one is a Greek, who
formerly waited on Mr. O'Shea; I hope he will turn out well.  Mr. O'Shea
has given me a general letter of credit to his correspondents in various
parts of Spain.  You will receive my draft in a few days.  I shall write
from Salamanca, and various other places, detailing all my proceedings
and adventures.  I hope you received my last letter.

I remain, etc.,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. June 21, 1837)
                                                  SALAMANCA, June 7, 1837.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I arrived at Salamanca about a fortnight since, in
safety and in tolerable good health.  I shall defer for a few days
communicating the particulars of my journey, though they are not
destitute of interest, having at present information to afford which I
consider of more importance, and which I hope will afford the same
satisfaction to yourself and our friends at home which I myself
experience in communicating them.

Some days previous to my departure from Madrid I was very much
indisposed.  Owing to the state of the weather--for violent and biting
winds had long prevailed--I had been attacked with a severe cold which
terminated in a shrieking disagreeable cough, which the many remedies
which I successively tried were unable to subdue.  I had made preparation
for departing on a particular day, but owing to the state of my health I
was apprehensive that I should be compelled to postpone my journey for a
time.  The last day of my stay in Madrid, finding myself scarcely able to
stand, I was fain to submit to a somewhat desperate experiment, and by
the advice of the barber-surgeon who visited me, I determined to be bled.
Late on the night of that same day he eased me of sixteen ounces of
blood, and having received his fee, left me, wishing me a pleasant
journey, and assuring me upon his reputation that by noon the next day I
should be perfectly recovered.

A few minutes after his departure, whilst I was sitting alone, meditating
on the journey which I was about to undertake, and on the rickety state
of my health, I heard a loud knock at the street-door of the house, on
the third floor of which I was lodged, not very comfortably.  In a minute
or two Mr. Southern of the British Embassy entered my apartment.  After a
little conversation he informed me that Mr. Villiers had desired him to
wait upon me, to communicate a resolution which he, Mr. Villiers, had
come to.  Being apprehensive that alone and unassisted I should
experience considerable difficulty in propagating the Gospel of God to
any considerable extent in Spain, he was bent upon exerting to the utmost
his own credit and influence to further my views, which he himself
considered, if carried into proper effect, extremely well calculated to
operate beneficially on the political and moral state of the country.  To
this end it was his intention to purchase a very considerable number of
copies of the New Testament, and to despatch them forthwith to the
various British consuls established in different parts of Spain, with
strict and positive orders to employ all the means, which their official
situation should afford them, to circulate the books in question and to
assure their being noticed.  They were moreover to be charged to afford
myself, whenever I should appear in their respective districts, all the
protection, encouragement, and assistance I should stand in need of, as a
friend of Mr. Villiers, and a person in the success of whose enterprise
he himself took the warmest interest.

I could scarcely believe my ears on receiving this information; for
though I had long been aware that Mr. Villiers was at all times willing
to assist me, he having frequently given me sufficient proof, I could
never expect that he would come forward in so noble, and to say the least
of it, considering his high diplomatic situation, so bold and decided a
manner.  I believe that this is the first instance of a British
Ambassador having made the cause of the Bible Society a national one, or
indeed to favour it directly or indirectly.  What renders the case of Mr.
Villiers more remarkable is that on my first arrival at Madrid I found
him by no means well disposed towards the Society.  The Holy Spirit has
probably illumined his mind on this point.  Honour be to him: I hope that
by his means our institution will shortly possess many agents in Spain
with far more power and opportunity than I myself can ever expect to
possess, who will scatter abroad the seed of the Gospel, and make of a
barren and thirsty wilderness a green and smiling corn-field.

The next day verified the prediction of the barber.  I had to a
considerable degree lost my cough and fever, though, owing to the great
loss of blood, I was very feeble and weak.  Precisely at twelve o'clock
myself and man rode forth from the gate of Saint Vincent, directing our
course to the lofty mountains which separate Old from New Castile.  That
night we rested at Guadarama, a large village at their foot, distant from
Madrid about twenty-five miles.  The journey to Salamanca occupied four
days, and I disposed of five Testaments by the way.

Since my arrival at Salamanca I have been taking measures that the Word
of God may become generally known in this place, so celebrated in many
respects.  The principal bookseller of the town, Blanco, a man of great
wealth and respectability, has consented to become our agent here, and I
have deposited in his shop a certain number of New Testaments.  He is the
proprietor of a small printing press, where the official bulletin of the
place is published.  For this bulletin I have prepared an advertisement
of the work, in which amongst other things I have said that the New
Testament is the only guide to salvation.  I have also spoken of the
Bible Society, and the great pecuniary sacrifices which it is making with
the view of proclaiming Christ crucified, and of making His doctrine
known.  This step will perhaps be considered by some as too bold, but I
am not aware that I can take any more calculated to arouse the attention
of the people--a considerable point.  I have also ordered numbers of the
same advertisement to be struck off in the shape of bills which I am
causing to be stuck up in various parts of the town.  I have great hope
that by means of these a considerable number of New Testaments will be
sold.  I shall repeat this experiment in Valladolid, Leon, St. Jago, and
all the principal towns which it is my intention to visit in my
wanderings, and I shall likewise distribute them as I ride along.  The
children of Spain will thus be brought to know that such a work as the
New Testament is in existence, a fact of which not five in one hundred
are at present aware, notwithstanding their so frequently repeated boasts
of their Catholicity and Christianity.

I carry with me the Gospel of St. Luke in the Cantabrian or Basque
language.  It is my intention to print this little book, either at San
Sebastian or Pamplona; as it would be unwise not to avail myself of so
favourable an opportunity of circulating it as my visit to the provinces
where the language is spoken will afford me.  I have examined it with
much attention, and find it a very faithful version.  The only objection
which can be brought against it is that Spanish words are frequently used
to express ideas for which there are equivalents in Basque; but this
language, as spoken at present in Spain, is very corrupt, and a work
written entirely in the Basque of Larramendi's Dictionary would be
intelligible to very few.  I have read passages from it to the men of
Guipuscoa, who assured me that they had no difficulty in understanding
it, and that it was written in the colloquial style of their province.

                                                                     G. B.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. July 25, 1837)
                                              ASTORGA, 5_th_ _July_, 1837.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I avail myself of the present opportunity of giving
an account of what has befallen me since I last wrote to you from
Salamanca, which I shortly after quitted.  By that time my advertisements
had been affixed in all parts of the city, and several New Testaments had
been sold; I myself had the pleasure of seeing three despatched in less
than a quarter of an hour that I remained in the shop.  From Salamanca I
proceeded to Valladolid, distant about twenty-five leagues, where I
employed the same means which I had adopted at Salamanca for the
promulgation of God's Word.  I must here observe that Valladolid is a
place where literature of every description is at the lowest ebb, and
bookselling there is merely carried on in connexion with other business,
it being in itself quite insufficient to afford a livelihood to those who
pursue it.  Nevertheless during the five days that I continued there my
labours were so far favoured that twenty copies were disposed of, and a
fair prospect opened that many more would be demanded.  Before leaving I
gave orders that the advertisements should be renewed every week, as
evil-disposed, persons probably of the Carlist or Papist party, had
defaced or torn down a great number of those which had been put up.  From
pursuing this course I expect that much and manifold good will accrue, as
the people of these parts will have continual opportunities of
acquainting themselves that a book which contains the _living word_ is in
existence and within their reach, which may induce them to secure it and
consult it even unto salvation.

Quitting Valladolid, I directed my route to Leon by the Palencia road;
the greatest part of the way was barren and uninteresting to a high
degree, consisting of wide dusty plains scantily sown with barley, but
unrelieved with trees or waters.  The people are ignorant and brutal,
though they boast themselves to be Old Castilians, which is however not
the fact, as these desolate and benighted regions belong to what was once
the kingdom of Leon.  Their inhospitality is so great that I have been
refused a glass of water in their villages, though I asked it in the name
of God; though I have subsequently obtained it by paying for it, for
their hearts can always be opened by the key of interest, though
inaccessible to every noble and generous sentiment.  I suffered
dreadfully during this journey, as did likewise my man and horses, for
the heat was the fiercest which I have ever known, and resembled the
breath of the simoom or the air from an oven's mouth.  Leon is
beautifully situated in a smiling blooming country abounding in grass and
trees, and watered by many streams which have their source in a mighty
chain of mountains in the neighbourhood, which traverse a great part of
Spain and are connected with the Pyrenees; but unfortunately it is
exceedingly unhealthy, for the heats of the summer-time raise noxious
exhalations from the waters, which generate all kinds of disorders,
especially fevers and tertian agues.  It is the Feversham of Spain.

_Nomen cui infausta Fata dedere febris_ [sic].

I had scarcely been at Leon three days when I was seized with a fever,
against which I thought the strength even of my constitution would have
yielded; for it wore me almost to a skeleton, and when it departed, at
the end of about a week, left me in such a deplorable state of weakness
that I was scarcely able to make the slightest exertion.  I had however
previously persuaded a bookseller to undertake the charge of vending the
Testaments, and had published my advertisements as usual, though without
very fervent hope of success, as Leon is a place where the inhabitants,
with very few exceptions, are furious Carlists and ignorant and blinded
followers of the old Papal Church.  It is, moreover, a Bishop's see,
which was once enjoyed by the prime councillor of Don Carlos, whose
fierce and bigoted spirit still seems to pervade the place.  Scarcely had
the advertisements appeared when the clergy were in motion; they went
from house to house, banning and cursing and denouncing misery on
whomsoever should either purchase or read 'the accursed books' which had
been sent into the country by heretics for the purpose of perverting the
innocent minds of the population.  They did more: they commenced a
process against the bookseller in the ecclesiastical court.  Fortunately
this court is not at present in the possession of much authority, and the
bookseller, who is a bold and determined man, set them at defiance, and
went so far as to affix an advertisement to the gate of the very
cathedral.  Notwithstanding the cry raised against the work several
copies were sold at Leon, two were purchased by ex-friars, and the same
number by parochial priests from neighbouring villages.  I believe the
whole number disposed of during my stay amounted to fifteen, so that my
visit to this dark corner has not been altogether in vain, as the seed of
the Gospel has been sown, though sparingly.  But the palpableness of the
darkness which envelops Leon is truly lamentable, and the ignorance of
the people is so great that printed charms and incantations against Satan
and his host and against every kind of misfortune are publicly sold in
the shops and are in great demand; such are the results of Popery, a
delusion which more than any other has tended to debase and brutalise the
human mind.

I had scarcely risen from the bed where the fever had cast me, when I
found that my servant had become alarmed; he informed me that he had seen
several soldiers in the uniform of Don Carlos knocking at the door of the
_posada_, and that they had been making enquiries concerning me.  It was
indeed a singular fact connected with Leon that upwards of fifty of these
fellows, who had on various accounts left the ranks of the pretender,
were walking about the streets dressed in his livery, and with all the
confidence which the certainty of the protection of the local authorities
could afford them, should any one be disposed to interrupt them.  He
moreover informed me that the person in whose house we were living was a
notorious _alcahuete_, or spy to the robbers in the neighbourhood, and
that unless we took our departure speedily and unexpectedly, we should to
a certainty be plundered on the road.  I did not pay much attention to
these hints, but my desire to quit Leon was great, as I was convinced
that as long as I continued there I should be unable to regain my health
and vigour.  Accordingly, at three o'clock in the morning of the fourth
(yesterday) we departed, taking the route for Lugo, a principal town in
the province of Galicia.  We had scarcely proceeded half a league when we
were overtaken by a thunderstorm of tremendous violence.  We were at that
time in the midst of a kind of wood which extends to some distance in
that direction.  The trees were bowed to the ground or torn up by their
roots by the wind, whilst the ground was plowed up by the lightning which
burst all around and nearly blinded us.  The horse which I rode upon,
which was a spirited Andalusian stallion, became furious and bounded into
the air as if possessed; owing to my state of weakness I had the greatest
difficulty in maintaining my seat and in avoiding a fall which might have
been fatal.  A tremendous discharge of rain followed the storm, which
swelled the brooks into streams and flooded the surrounding country,
causing great damage amongst the corn.  After riding about five leagues
we began to enter the mountainous district which surrounds Astorga; the
road was flinty and very trying to the poor horses, who suffered much,
whilst the heat was suffocating.  It was with the utmost difficulty that
we reached Astorga, covered with mud and dust and our tongues cleaving to
the roofs of our mouths from thirst.  We were compelled to take up our
abode in a wretched hovel, full of pigs, vermin, and misery, and from
this place I write, for this morning I felt myself unable to proceed on
my journey, being exhausted with illness, fatigue and want of food, for
scarcely anything is to be obtained.  But I return God thanks and glory
for being permitted to undergo these crosses and troubles for His Word's
sake.  I would not exchange my present situation, unenviable as some may
think it, for a throne.

Pray excuse the style and writing of this letter, both are inevitably
bad.  I hope in a few days to have reached Lugo, where I shall be more at
my ease.

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                      (_Endorsed_: recd. 12th August 1837)
                                            CORUNNA, 20_th_ _July_ [1837].

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--My last letter was dated from Astorga, and I stated
that I was suffering from the relics of the fever which had assailed me
at Leon; in a day or two, however, I was sufficiently recovered to mount
my horse and proceed on my journey to Lugo.  I shall send a regular
account of this journey next post, from which those at home, interested
in Bible proceedings in Spain, may gather some idea of this very strange
country and people.  I arrived safely at Lugo, but much fatigued, for the
way thither lay through the wildest mountains and wildernesses.  The Lord
deigned to favour my humble efforts at Lugo; I brought thither thirty
Testaments, all of which were disposed of in one day, the Bishop of the
place himself purchasing two copies, whilst several priests and friars,
instead of following the example of their brethren at Leon by persecuting
the work, spoke well of it, and recommended its perusal.  I was much
grieved that my stock of these holy books was exhausted, for there was a
great demand for them; and had I been able to supply them, quadruple the
quantity might have been sold [during] the four days that I remained at

Midway between Lugo and Corunna I was near falling into the hands of
robbers.  Two fellows suddenly confronted me with presented carbines,
which they probably intended to discharge into my body, but they took
fright at the noise of my servant's horse, who was following a little way
behind.  This affair occurred at the bridge Castellanos, a spot notorious
for robbery and murder, and well adapted for both, for it stands at the
bottom of a deep dell surrounded by wild desolate hills.  Only a quarter
of an hour previous, I had passed three ghastly heads, stuck on poles
standing by the wayside; they were those of a captain of banditti [and
two of his men], who had been seized and executed about two months
before.  Their principal haunt was the vicinity of the bridge I have
already spoken of, and it was their practice to cast the bodies of the
murdered into the deep black water which runs rapidly beneath.  These
three beads will always live in my remembrance, particularly that of the
captain, which stood on a higher pole than the other two; the long hair
was waving in the wind, and the blackened distorted features were
grinning in the sun.  The fellows whom I met were themselves of his band.

I have a depot of five hundred Testaments at Corunna, from which it is my
intention to supply the principal towns of Galicia.  I have as usual
published my advertisements, and the work enjoys a tolerable sale--seven
or eight copies per day on the average.  Perhaps some will say that these
are small matters and not worthy of being mentioned; but let these
bethink them that till within a few months the very existence of the
Gospel was almost unknown in Spain, and that it must necessarily be a
difficult task to induce a people like the Spaniards, who read very
little and who in general consider money expended in books of any kind as
cast away, to purchase a work like the New Testament, offering them
little prospect of amusement, and which, though the basis of all true
religion, they have never been told is useful as a guide to salvation.

Let us hope that the present is the dawning of better and more
enlightened times, and though little has been accomplished, still it is
more than nothing that Testaments are being sold in unhappy benighted
Spain, from Madrid to the northernmost part of Galicia, a distance of
nearly four hundred miles.

In about a fortnight I shall depart for Santiago, where I intend to pass
several days; then retracing my steps to Corunna I shall visit Ferrol,
whence I shall perhaps shape my course for Oviedo in the Asturias, either
along the seashore or by the mountain route, in which latter case I
should have to revisit Lugo.  Every part of Galicia abounds with robbers
and factious, so that almost all travelling is at an end, and the road to
Santiago is so bad that no one is permitted to travel it unless in
company with the weekly post, which goes attended by a strong military
escort.  This gives me some uneasiness, as the stallion I ride is so
vicious and furious that it is dangerous to bring him in contact with
other horses whom, with the exception of his companion, he invariably
attacks, getting me into all manner of scrapes.  An old Castilian
peasant, whose pony he had maltreated, once said to me, 'Sir Cavalier, if
you have any love for yourself, get rid of that beast, who is capable of
proving the ruin of a kingdom.'  But he is a gallant creature who seldom
tires, and he has borne me too far to permit me to think of parting with

Since my arrival at Corunna I have received advice from my agent at
Valladolid that the forty copies which I deposited in his hands have been
sold, and that he was anxious for a fresh supply.  I have accordingly
ordered fifty more to be sent him from Madrid.  Since my departure from
the capital I have myself disposed of sixty-five, without including those
sold at Lugo and other places by means of the advertisements, on which I
principally rely, as they speak at all times whether I am present or

I wish it to be distinctly understood that throughout my journey I have
given away none of the books, having invariably received money for them,
viz., from 10 to 12 _reals_.  The enemies of the Bible Society have
stated in several publications that it has no vent for the Bibles and
Testaments which it publishes in many foreign languages but by sending
them to the various countries, and there distributing them gratis or
selling them by auction, when they are bought for waste paper (see in
particular Wiseman's _Letters_).  My conduct in this point has been
principally influenced by a desire to give, in the case of Spain at
least, the direct lie to this assertion, and this conduct I shall pursue
until I receive direct orders to abandon it.  I will now conclude by
repeating that in a few days you will receive my journal, which will
prove more interesting than the above hasty scrawl.

I remain, etc.,

                                                                G. BORROW.

To the Rev. Andrew Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. Aug. 23, 1837)
                                            _Journey from Astorga to Lugo_

Before proceeding to narrate what befell me in this journey, it will
perhaps not be amiss to say a few words concerning Astorga and its
vicinity.  It is a walled town containing about five or six thousand
inhabitants, with a cathedral and college, which last is, however, at
present deserted.  It is situated on the confines, and may be called the
capital, of a tract of land called the country of the Maragatos, which
occupies about three square leagues, and has for its north-western
boundary a mountain called Telleno, the loftiest of a chain of hills
which have their origin near the mouth of the river Minho, and are
connected with the immense range which constitutes the frontier of the
Asturias and Guipuscoa.  The land is ungrateful and barren, and niggardly
repays the toil of the cultivator, being for the most part rocky, with a
slight sprinkling of a red bricky earth.  The Maragatos are perhaps the
most singular caste to be found amongst the chequered population of
Spain.  They have their own peculiar customs and dress, and never
intermarry with the Spaniards.  Their name is a clue to their origin, as
it signifies 'Moorish Goths,' and at this present day their garb differs
but little from that of the Moors of Barbary, as it consists of a long
tight jacket, secured at the waist by a broad girdle; loose short
trowsers which terminate at the knee, and boots and gaiters.  Their heads
are shaven, a slight fringe of hair being only left at the lower part.
If they wore the turban, or barret, they could scarcely be distinguished
from the Moors in dress, but in lieu thereof they wear the sombrero or
broad slouching hat of Spain.  There can be little doubt that they are a
remnant of those Goths who sided with the Moors on their invasion of
Spain, and who adopted their religion, customs, and manner of dress,
which, with the exception of the first, are still to a considerable
degree retained.  It is, however, evident that their blood has at no time
mingled with that of the wild children of the desert, for scarcely
amongst the hills of Norway would you find figures and faces more
essentially Gothic than those of the Maragatos.  They are strong,
athletic men, but loutish and heavy, and their features, though for the
most part well-formed, are vacant and devoid of expression.  They are
slow and plain in speech, and those eloquent and imaginative sallies so
common in the conversation of other Spaniards seldom or never escape
them; they have, moreover, a coarse, thick pronunciation, and when you
hear them speak, you almost imagine that it is some German or English
peasant attempting to express himself in the language of the Peninsula.
They are constitutionally phlegmatic, and it is very difficult to arouse
their anger; but they are dangerous and desperate when once incensed, and
a person who knew them well told me that he would rather face ten
Valencians, people infamous for their ferocity and blood-thirstiness,
than confront one angry Maragato, sluggish and stupid though he be on
other occasions.

The men scarcely ever occupy themselves in husbandry, which they abandon
to the females, who plough the flinty fields and gather in the scanty
harvests.  Their husbands and sons are far differently employed, for they
are a nation of _arrieros_ or carriers, and almost esteem it a disgrace
to follow any other profession.  On every road of Spain, particularly
those north of the mountains which divide the two Castiles, may be seen
gangs of fives and sixes of these people lolling or sleeping beneath the
broiling sun on their gigantic and heavily laden mutes and mules, the
boast of Spain, but dearly purchased by the debasement and degeneration
of a once noble breed of horses.  In a word, almost the entire commerce
of nearly one half of Spain passes through the hands of the Maragatos,
whose fidelity to their trust is such that no one accustomed to employ
them would hesitate to entrust them with the transport of a ton of
treasure from the sea of Biscay to Madrid, knowing well that it would not
be their fault were it not delivered safe and undiminished even of a
grain, and that bold must be the thieves who would seek to wrest it from
the far-feared Maragatos, who would cling to it whilst they could stand,
and would cover it with their bodies when they fell in the act of loading
or discharging their long carbines.

But they are far from being disinterested, and if they are the most
trustworthy of all the _arrieros_ of Spain, they in general demand for
the transport of articles a sum at least double of what others of the
trade would esteem a reasonable recompense.  By this means they
accumulate large sums of money, notwithstanding that they indulge
themselves in a far superior fare to that which contents in general the
parsimonious Spaniard--another argument in favour of their pure Gothic
descent; for the Maragatos, like true men of the north, delight in
swilling liquors and battening upon gross and luscious meats, which help
to swell out their tall and goodly figures.  Many of them have died
possessed of considerable riches, part of which they have not
unfrequently bequeathed to the erection or embellishment of religious
houses.  On the east end of the cathedral of Astorga, which towers over
the lofty and precipitous wall, a colossal figure of lead may be seen on
the roof.  It is the statue of a Maragato carrier, who endowed the
cathedral with a large sum.  He is in his national dress, but his head is
averted from the land of his fathers, and whilst he waves in his hand a
species of flag, he seems to be summoning his race from their unfruitful
region to other climes where a richer field is open to their industry and

I spoke to several of these men respecting the all-important subject of
religion; but 'I found their hearts blunted, and with their ears they
heard heavily, and their eyes were closed.'  There was one in particular
to whom I showed the New Testament and addressed for a considerable time.
He listened, or seemed to listen, patiently, taking occasional copious
draughts from an immense jug of whitish wine which stood between his
knees.  After I had concluded, he said: 'To-morrow I set out for Lugo,
whither I am told yourself are going.  If you wish to send your chest, I
have no objection to take it at so much (naming an extravagant price).
As for what you have told me, I understand little of it and believe not a
word of it; but in respect to the books which you have shown me, I will
take three or four.  I shall not read them, it is true, but I have no
doubt that I can sell them at a higher price than you demand.'

So much for the Maragatos.

It was four o'clock of a beautiful morning that we sallied from Astorga,
or rather from the suburbs in which we had been lodged; we directed our
course to the north in the direction of Galicia.  Leaving the mountain
Telleno on our left, we passed along the eastern skirts of the land of
the Maragatos over broken uneven ground, enlivened here and there by
small green valleys and runs of water.  Several of the Maragato women
mounted on donkeys passed us on their way to Astorga whither they were
carrying vegetables; we saw others in the fields handling their rude
ploughs drawn by lean oxen; we likewise passed through a small village in
which we however saw no living soul.  Near this village we entered the
high road which leads direct from Madrid to Corunna, and at last having
travelled near four leagues we came to a species of pass formed on our
left by a huge lumpish hill (one of those which descend from the great
mountain Telleno), and on our right by one of considerably less altitude.
In the middle of this pass which was of considerable breadth, a noble
view opened itself to us.  Before us, at the distance of about a league
and a half, rose the mighty frontier chain of which I have spoken before;
its blue sides and broken and picturesque peaks still wearing a thin veil
of the morning mist, which the fierce rays of the sun were fast
dispelling.  It seemed an enormous barrier threatening to oppose our
further progress, and it reminded me of the fables respecting the
children of Magog, who are said to reside in remotest Tartary behind a
gigantic wall of rocks which can only be passed by a gate of steel a
thousand cubits in height.

We shortly after arrived at Manzanal, a village consisting of wretched
huts, and exhibiting every sign of poverty and misery.  It was now time
to refresh ourselves and horses, and we accordingly put up at a kind of
_venta_, the last habitation in the village, where, though we found
barley for the animals, we had much difficulty in procuring anything for
ourselves.  I was at last fortunate enough to obtain a large jug of milk,
for there were plenty of cows in the neighbourhood feeding in a
picturesque valley which we had passed by, in which there was abundance
of grass and trees and a run of water broken by tiny cascades.  The jug
might contain about half a gallon, but I emptied it in a few minutes, for
the thirst of fever was still burning within me though I was destitute of
appetite.  The _venta_ had something the appearance of a German baiting
house.  It consisted of an immense stable, from which was partitioned a
kind of kitchen and a place where the family slept.  The master, a robust
young man, lolled on a large solid stone bench which stood within the
door.  He was very inquisitive respecting news, but I could afford him
none; whereupon he became communicative, and gave me the history of his
life, the sum of which was that he had been a courier in the Basque
provinces, but about a year since had been despatched to this village
where he kept the post-house.  He was an enthusiastic liberal, and spoke
in bitter terms of the surrounding population, who, he said, were all
Carlists and friends of the friars.  I paid little attention to his
discourse, for I was looking at a Maragato lad of about fourteen who
served in the house as a kind of ostler.  I asked the master if we were
still in the land of the Maragatos, but he told me that we had left it
behind nearly a league, and that the lad was an orphan, and was serving
until he could rake up a sufficient capital to become an _arriero_.  I
addressed several questions to the boy, but the urchin looked sullenly in
my face, and either answered by monosyllables or was doggedly silent.  I
asked him if he could read: 'Yes,' said he, 'as much as that black brute
of yours who is tearing down the manger.'

Quitting Manzanal, we continued our course, the ground gradually
descending; we soon arrived at a place where the road took a turn to the
west, though previously it had tended due north.  We now found that we
had to descend the steep sides of a deep and narrow valley which wound
amongst mountains, not those of the chain which we had seen before us and
which we had left at our right, but those of the Telleno range, just
before they unite with that chain.  Arrived at the brink of the valley we
turned into a foot-path, to avoid making a considerable circuit, for we
saw the road on the other side of the valley opposite to us about a
furlong [distant], and the path appeared to lead direct towards it.  We
had not gone far before we met two Galicians on their way to cut the
harvests of Castile.  One of them shouted, 'Cavalier, turn back: in a
moment you will be amongst precipices where your horses will break their
necks, for we ourselves could scarcely climb them on foot.'  The other
cried, 'Cavalier, proceed, but be careful, and your horses, if
sure-footed, will run no great danger; my comrade is a fool.'  A violent
dispute instantly ensued between the two mountaineers, each supporting
his opinion with loud oaths and curses; but without stopping to see the
result I passed on.  But the path was now filled with stones and huge
slaty rocks, on which my horse slid, frequently on his haunches.  I
likewise heard the sound of water in a deep gorge, which I had hitherto
not perceived, and I soon saw that it would be worse than madness to
proceed.  I turned my horse and was hastening to regain the path which I
had left, when Antonio, my faithful Greek, pointed out to me a meadow, by
which he said we might regain the high road much lower down than if we
returned on our steps.  The meadow was brilliant with short green grass,
and in the middle there was a small rivulet of water.  I spurred my horse
on, expecting to be in the high road in a moment; the horse, however,
snorted and stared wildly, and was evidently unwilling to cross the
seemingly inviting spot.  I thought that the scent of a wolf or some
other wild animal might have disturbed him, but was soon undeceived by
his sinking up to the knees in a bog.  The animal uttered a shrill sharp
neigh, and exhibited every sign of the greatest terror, making at the
same time great efforts to extricate himself, and plunging forward, but
every moment sinking deeper.  At last he arrived where a small vein of
rock showed itself, on this he placed his fore feet, and with one
tremendous exertion freed himself from the deceitful soil, springing over
the rivulet and alighting on comparatively firm ground, where he stood
panting, his heaving sides covered with a foamy sweat.  Antonio, who had
been a terrified observer of the whole scene, afraid to venture forward,
returned by the path by which we came and shortly afterwards rejoined me.
This adventure brought to my recollection the meadow with its foot-path,
which tempted Christian from the straight road to heaven, and finally
conducted him to the dominions of the Giant Despair.

    _No hay atajo_
    _Sin trabajo_.

    'There is no short cut
    Without some deep rut.'

says the Spanish proverb.

We now began to descend the valley by a broad and excellent _carretera_,
or carriage road, which was cut out of the steep side of the mountain on
our right.  On our left was the gorge, down which tumbled the run of
water which I have before mentioned.  The road was tortuous, and at every
turn the scene became more picturesque.  The gorge gradually widened, and
the brook at its bottom, fed by a multitude of springs, [grew] more
considerable; but it was soon far beneath us, pursuing its headlong
course till it reached level ground, where it flowed in the midst of a
beautiful but confined prairie.  There was something silvan and savage in
the mountains on the further side, clad from foot to pinnacle with trees,
so closely growing that the eye was unable to obtain a glimpse of the
hill-sides which were uneven with ravines and gulleys, the haunts of the
wolf, the wild boar and the _corso_ or mountain-stag; the last of which,
as I was informed by a peasant who was driving a car of oxen, frequently
descended to feed in the prairie and were shot for the sake of their
skins, for the flesh being strong and disagreeable is held at no account.
But notwithstanding the wildness of these regions, the handiworks of man
were visible.  The sides of the gorge though precipitous were yellow with
little fields of barley, and we saw a hamlet and church down in the
prairie below, whilst merry songs ascended to our ears from where the
mowers were toiling with their scythes, cutting the luxuriant and
abundant grass.  I could scarcely believe that I was in Spain, in general
so brown, so arid and cheerless, and I almost fancied myself in Greece,
in that land of ancient glory, whose mountain and forest scenery
Theocritus has so well described.

At the bottom of the valley we entered a small village washed by the
brook, which had now swelled almost to a stream.  A more romantic
situation I had never witnessed.  It was surrounded and almost overhung
by huge mountains, and embowered in trees of various kinds; waters
sounded, nightingales sang, and the cuckoo's full note boomed from the
distant branches, but the village was miserable.  The huts were built of
slate-stones, of which the neighbouring hills seemed to be principally
composed, and roofed with the same, but not in the neat tidy manner of
English houses, for the slates were of all sizes, and seemed to be flung
on in confusion.  We were spent with heat and thirst, and sitting down on
a stone bench I entreated a woman to give us a little water.  The woman
said she would, but added that she expected to be paid for it.  My Greek
on hearing this burst into horrid execrations, and speaking Greek,
Turkish and Spanish invoked the vengeance of the _Panhagia_ on the
heartless woman, saying 'If I were to offer a Mahometan gold for a
draught of water, he would dash it in my face; and you are a Catholic
with the stream running at your door.'  I told him to be silent, and
giving the woman two _cuartos_ repeated my request; whereupon she took a
pitcher, and, going to the stream, filled it with water.  It tasted muddy
and disagreeable, but it drowned the fever which was devouring me.

We again mounted and proceeded on our way, which for a considerable
distance lay along the margin of the stream, which now fell in small
cataracts, now brawled over stones, and at other times ran dark and
silent through deep pools overhung with tall willows--pools which seemed
to abound with the finny tribe, for huge trout frequently sprang from the
water catching the brilliant fly which skimmed along its deceitful
surface.  How delightful!  The sun was rolling high in the firmament,
casting from its girdle of fire the most glorious rays, so that the
atmosphere was flickering with their splendour; but their fierceness was
either warded off by the shadow of the trees or rendered innocuous either
by the refreshing coolness which rose from the waters or by the gentle
breezes which murmured at intervals over the meadows 'fanning the cheek
or raising the hair' of the wanderer.  The hills gradually receded, till
at last we entered a plain where tall grass was undulating, and mighty
chestnut-trees in full blossom spread their giant and umbrageous boughs.
Beneath many stood cars, the tired oxen prostrate on the ground, the
cross-bar of the pole which they support pressing heavily on their heads,
whilst their drivers were either employed in cooking or were enjoying a
delicious _siesta_ in the grass and shade.  I went up to one of the
largest of these groups and demanded of the individuals whether they were
in need of the Testament of Jesus Christ.  They stared at one another and
then at me, till at last a young man who was dandling a long gun in his
hands as he reclined demanded of me what it was, at the same time
enquiring whether I was a Catalan, 'for you speak hoarse,' said he, 'and
are tall and fair like that family.'  I sat down amongst them and said I
was no Catalan, but I came from a spot in the western sea many leagues
distant to sell that book at half the price it cost, and that their
souls' welfare depended upon their being acquainted with it.  I then
explained to them the nature of the New Testament and read to them the
Parable of the Sower.  They stared at each other again, but said that
they were poor and could not buy books.  I rose, mounted, and was going
away, saying to them: 'Peace bide with you.'  Whereupon the young man
with the gun rose, and saying; '_Caspita_! this is odd,' snatched the
book from my hand, and gave me the price I had demanded.

Perhaps the whole world might be searched in vain for a spot whose
natural charms could rival those of this plain or valley of Bembibre,
with its wall of mighty mountains, its spreading chestnut-trees, and its
groves of oaks and willows which clothe the banks of its stream, a
tributary to the Minho.  True it is that when I passed through it the
candle of heaven was blazing in full splendour, and everything lighted by
its rays looked gay, glad and blessed.  Whether it would have filled me
with the same feelings of admiration if viewed beneath another sky I will
not pretend to determine, but it certainly possessed advantages which at
no time could fail to delight; for it exhibited all the peaceful beauties
of an English landscape blended with something wild and grand, and I
thought within myself that he must be a restless dissatisfied man who
born amongst those scenes would wish to quit them.  At the time I would
have desired no better fate than that of a shepherd on the prairies or a
hunter on the hills of Bembibre.

Three hours passed away, and we were in another situation.  We had halted
and refreshed ourselves and horses at Bembibre, a village of mud and
slate, and which possessed little to attract attention.  We were now
ascending, for the road was over one of the extreme ledges of those
frontier hills which I have before so often mentioned; but the aspect of
heaven had blackened, clouds were rolling rapidly from the west over the
mountains, and a cold wind was moaning dismally.  'There is a storm
travelling through the air,' said a peasant, whom we overtook mounted on
a wretched mule, 'and the Asturians had better be on the look-out, for it
is speeding in their direction.'  He had scarce spoken when a light so
vivid and dazzling that it seemed the whole lustre of the fiery element
was concentrated therein broke around us, filling the whole atmosphere,
and covering rock, tree and mountain with a glare indescribable.  The
mule of the peasant tumbled prostrate, while the horse I rode reared
himself perpendicularly, and turning round dashed down the hill at
headlong speed which for some time it was impossible to check.  The
lightning was followed by a peal almost as terrible, but distant, for it
sounded hollow and deep; the hills, however, caught up its voice,
seemingly pitching it along their summits, till it was lost in
interminable space.  Other flashes and peals succeeded, but slight in
comparison, and a few drops of rain; the body of the tempest seemed to be
over another region.  'A hundred families are weeping where that bolt
fell,' said the peasant, when I rejoined him, 'for its blaze has blinded
my mule at six leagues' distance.'  He was leading the animal by the
bridle, as its sight was evidently affected.  'Were the friars still in
their nest above there,' he continued, 'I should say that this was their
doing, for they are the cause of all the miseries of the land.'

I raised my eyes in the direction in which he pointed.  Half-way up the
mountain over whose foot we were wending jutted forth a black, frightful
crag, which at an immense altitude overhung the road and seemed to
threaten destruction.  It resembled one of those ledges of the rocky
mountains in the picture of the deluge, up to which the terrified
fugitives have scrambled from the eager pursuit of the savage and
tremendous billow, down on which they are gazing in horror, whilst above
them rise still higher and giddier heights to which they seem unable to
climb.  Built on the very rim of this crag stood an edifice, seemingly
devoted to the purposes of religion, as I could discern the spire of a
church rearing itself high over wall and roof.  'That is the house of
"The Virgin of the Rocks,"' said the peasant, 'and it was lately full of
friars, but they have been driven out, and the only inmates now are owls
and ravens.'  I replied that their life in such a bleak exposed abode
could not have been very enviable, as in winter they must have incurred
great risk of perishing with cold.  'By no means,' said he; 'they had the
best of wood for their _braseros_ and chimneys, and the best of wine to
warm them at their meals, which were not the most sparing; moreover they
had another convent down in the vale yonder, to which they could retire
at their pleasure.'  I asked him the reason of his antipathy to the
friars, to which he replied that he had been their vassal, and that they
had deprived him every year of the flower of what he possessed.
Discoursing in this manner we reached a village just below the convent,
where he left me, having first pointed out to me a house of stone with an
image over the door, which he said once also belonged to the _canalla_
(rabble) above.

The sun was setting fast, and, eager to reach Villafranca, where I had
determined on resting and which was still distant three leagues and a
half, I made no halt at this place.  The road was now down a rapid and
crooked descent which terminated in a valley, at the bottom of which was
a long and narrow bridge.  Beneath it rolled a river descending from a
wide pass between two mountains, for the chain was here cleft probably by
some convulsion of nature.  I looked up the pass and on the hills on both
sides.  Far above on my right, but standing out bold and clear, and
catching the last rays of the sun, was 'the Convent of the Precipices';
whilst directly over against it, on the further side of the valley, rose
the perpendicular side of the rival hill which, to a considerable extent
intercepting the light, flung its black shadow over the upper end of the
pass, involving it in mysterious darkness.  Emerging from the centre of
this gloom with thundering sound dashed a river, white with foam and
bearing along with it huge stones and branches of trees, for it was the
wild Sil, probably at that [time] swollen by the recent rains, which I
now saw hurrying to the ocean from its cradle in the heart of the
Asturian hills.  Its fury, its roar, and the savage grandeur of the
surrounding scenery which was worthy of the pencil of Salvator recalled
to my mind the powerful lines of Stolberg addressed to a mountain

    'The pine-trees are shaken, they yield to thy shocks,
    And, crashing, they tumble in wild disarray;
    The rocks fly before thee--thou seizest the rocks
    And whirlst them, like pebbles, contemptuous away.'

Hours again passed away.  It was now night, and we were in the midst of
woodlands, feeling our way, for the darkness was so great that I could
scarcely see the length of a yard before my horse's head.  The animal
seemed uneasy, and would frequently stop short, prick up his ears, and
utter a low mournful whine.  Flashes of sheet-lightning frequently
illumed the black sky and flung a momentary glare over our path.  No
sound interrupted the stillness of the night save the slow tramp of the
horses' hoofs, and occasionally the croaking of frogs from some pool or
morass.  I now bethought me that I was in Spain, the chosen land of the
two fiends, assassination and plunder, and how easily two tired unarmed
wanderers might become their victims.  We at last cleared the woodlands,
and after proceeding a short distance the horse gave a joyous neigh and
broke into a smart trot.  A barking of dogs speedily reached my ears, and
we seemed to be approaching some town or village.  In effect we were
close to Cacabelos, a town about five miles distant from Villafranca.

It was now near eleven at night, and I reflected that it would be far
more expedient to tarry in this place till the morning than to attempt at
present to reach Villafranca, exposing ourselves to all the horrors of
darkness in a lonely and unknown road.  My mind was soon made up on this
point--but I determined without my hosts, for at the first _posada_ which
I attempted to enter I was told that we could not be accommodated, and
particularly our horses, as the stable was full of water.  At the second
(there were but two), I was answered from the window by a gruff voice
nearly in the words of Scripture: 'Trouble me not, the gate is already
locked, and my servants are also with me in bed; I cannot arise to let
you in.'  Indeed we had no particular desire to enter, as it appeared a
wretched hovel; though the poor horses pawed piteously against the door,
and seemed to crave admittance.

We had now no choice but to resume our doleful way to Villafranca, which
we were told was a short league distant, though it proved a league and a
half.  We however found it no easy matter to quit the town, for we were
bewildered amongst its labyrinths and could not find the outlet.  A lad
about eighteen was, however, persuaded by the promise of a _peseta_ to
guide us, whereupon he led us by many turnings to a bridge which he told
us to cross and to follow the road, which was that of Villafranca; he
then, having received his fee, hastened from us.

We followed his directions, not, however, without a suspicion that he
might be deceiving us.  The night had settled darker down upon us, so
that it was impossible to distinguish any object, however nigh.  The
lightning had become more faint and rare.  We heard the rustling of trees
and occasionally the barking of dogs, which last sound, however, soon
ceased, and we were in the midst of night and silence.  My horse, either
from weariness or the badness of the road, frequently stumbled; whereupon
I dismounted, and leading him by the bridle, soon left my companion far
in the rear.  I had proceeded in this manner a considerable way when a
circumstance occurred of a character well suited to the time and place.

I was again amidst trees and bushes, when the horse, stopping short,
nearly pulled me back.  I know not how it was, but fear suddenly came
over me, which, though in darkness and in solitude, I had not felt
before.  I was about to urge the animal forward, when I heard a noise at
my right hand, and listened attentively.  It seemed to be that of a
person or persons forcing their way through branches and brushwood.  It
soon ceased, and I heard feet on the road.  It was the short, staggering
kind of tread of people carrying a very heavy substance, nearly too much
for their strength, and I thought I [heard] the hurried breathing of men
over-fatigued.  There was a short pause in the middle of the road; then
the stamping recommenced until it reached the other side, when I again
heard a similar rustling amidst branches; it continued for some time, and
died gradually away.

I continued my road, musing on what had just occurred and forming
conjectures as to the cause.  The lightning resumed its flashing, and I
saw that I was approaching tall black mountains--But I will omit further
particulars of this midnight journey.

'_Quien vive_,' roared a voice about an hour from this time, for I had at
last groped my way to Villafranca.  It proceeded from the sentry at the
suburb, one of those singular half soldiers, half _guerillas_, called
Miguelets, who are in general employed by the Spanish Government to clear
the roads of robbers.  I gave the usual answer '_Espana_,' and went up to
the place where he stood.  After a little conversation, I sat down on a
stone, awaiting the arrival of Antonio, who was long in making his
appearance.  On his arrival I asked him if any one had passed him on the
road, but he replied that he had seen nothing.  The night, or rather
morning, was still very dark, though a small corner of the moon was
occasionally visible.  On our enquiring the way to the gate, the Miguelet
directed us down a street to the left, which we followed.  The street was
steep, we could see no gate, and our progress was soon stopped by houses
and wall.  We knocked at the gates of two or three of these houses (in
the upper stories of which lights were burning) for the purpose of being
set right, but we were either disregarded or not heard.  A horrid
squalling of cats from the tops of the houses and dark corners saluted
our ears, and I thought of the night-arrival of Don Quixote and his
squire at Tobosa, and their vain search amongst the deserted streets for
the palace of Dulcinea.  At length we saw light and heard voices in a
cottage at the further side of a kind of ditch.  Leading the horses over,
we called at the door, which was opened by an aged man, who appeared by
his dress to be a baker, as indeed he proved, which accounted for his
being up at so late an hour.  On begging him to show us the way into the
town, he led us up a very narrow alley at the end of his cottage, saying
that he would likewise conduct us to the _posada_.  The alley led
directly to what appeared to be the market-place, at a corner house of
which our guide stopped and knocked.  After a long pause an upper window
was opened, and a female voice demanded who we were.  The old man replied
that two travellers had arrived who were in need of lodging.  'I cannot
be disturbed at this time of night,' said the woman, 'they will be
wanting supper, and there is nothing in the house; they must go
elsewhere.'  She was going to shut the window, but I cried that we wanted
no supper, but merely a resting-place for ourselves and horses, that we
had come that day from Astorga, and were dying with fatigue.  'Who is
that speaking?' cried the woman.  'Surely that is the voice of Gil, the
German clock-maker from Pontevedra.  Welcome, old companion, you are come
at the right time, for my own is out of order.  I am sorry I kept you
waiting, but I will admit you in a moment.'

The window was slammed to; presently light shone through the crevices if
the door, a key turned in the lock, and we were admitted.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                        (_Endorsed_: recd. Sept. 11, 1837)
                                    SAINT JAMES (SANTIAGO) OF COMPOSTELLA,
                                                     19_th_ _Aug._ [1837].

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I left Corunna about ten days since for this town,
travelling with the courier or weekly post, who was escorted by a strong
party of soldiers in consequence of the distracted state of the country.
Nothing particular worth relating occurred during the journey, which
occupied a day and a half, though the distance is barely ten leagues.
Santiago, or Saint James, is, as you are aware, the capital of Galicia,
and the residence of the Metropolitan.  It is, or was, the most
celebrated resort for pilgrims in the whole world, with the exception of
Jerusalem, as it is said to contain the bones of Saint James the Elder,
the Child of the Thunder, who according to the legend of the Roman Church
first preached the Gospel in Spain.  The cathedral, though built at
various periods and by no means uniform, is a majestic, venerable
edifice, in every respect calculated to excite awe and admiration; indeed
it is almost impossible to walk its long dusky aisles and hear the solemn
music and the noble chanting and inhale the incense of the mighty
censers, which are at times swung so high by machinery that they smite
the vaulted roof, whilst gigantic tapers glitter here and there amongst
the gloom from the shrine of many a saint, before which the worshippers
are kneeling, breathing forth their prayers and petitions for help, love,
and mercy, and entertain a doubt that we are treading the floor of a
house where God delighteth to dwell.  Yet the Lord is distant from that
house.  He heareth not, He seeth not: or, if He hear and see, it is with
anger.  What availeth that solemn music, that noble chanting, that
incense of sweet savour?  What availeth kneeling before that grand altar
of silver, surmounted by that figure with its silver hat and breastplate,
the emblem of one who, although an Apostle and Confessor, was at best an
unprofitable servant?  What availeth hoping for remission of sin by
trusting in the merits of him who possessed none, or by paying homage to
others who were born and nurtured in sin, and who alone by the exercise
of a lively faith granted from above could hope to preserve themselves
from the wrath of the Almighty?  Yet such acts and formalities constitute
what is termed religion at Compostella, where, perhaps, God and His will
are less known and respected than at Pekin or amid the wildernesses where
graze the coursers of the Mongol and the Mandchou.  Perhaps there is no
part of Spain where the Romish religion is so cherished as throughout
Galicia.  In no part of Spain are the precepts and ordinances of that
Church, especially fasting and confession, so strictly observed, and its
ministers regarded with so much respect and deference.  The natural
conclusion therefore would be that, if the religion of Rome be the same
as that founded by Christ, the example of the Saviour is more closely
followed, and the savage and furious passions more bridled, bloodshed and
rapine less frequent, unchastity and intemperance less apparent, and the
minds of the people more enlightened and free from the mists of
superstition in Galicia than in other provinces.

What is the fact?  Almost every road is teeming with banditti, who under
the name of Carlists plunder friend and foe, and to robbery join cruelty
so atrociously horrible that indignation at the crime is frequently lost
in wonder; for the Galician robbers are seldom satisfied with booty, and
unlike their brethren in other parts generally mutilate or assassinate
those who are so unfortunate as to fall in their hands; prostitution is
carried on to an enormous extent, and although loathsome concustant [sic]
diseases stare the stranger in the face in the street, in the
market-place, in the church, and at the fountain; 'Drunken as a Galician'
is a proverb; and superstitions forgotten, abandoned in the rest of
Spain, are clung to here with surprising pertinacity, the clergy exerting
themselves to uphold them by carrying on a very extensive sale in charms,
verifying the old saying, 'Witches are found where friars abound.'

An unhappy man, whilst collecting vipers amongst the hills, which he was
in the practice of selling to the apothecaries, was lately met near
Orense by some of these monsters.  Having plundered and stripped him,
they tied his hands behind him and thrust his head into the sack, which
contained several of these horrible reptiles alive!  They then fastened
the sack at the mouth round his neck, and having feasted their ears for a
time with his cries, they abandoned him to his fate.  The poor wretch,
stung by the vipers in the face and eyes, presently became mad and ran
through several villages, till he fell dead.

I am now in the heart of this strange country and people.  It has pleased
the Lord to bless my humble endeavours more than I had reason to expect;
since my arrival Santiago between thirty and forty copies of the New
Testament have been despatched.  The bookseller of the place, Rey Romero,
a venerable man of seventy, very wealthy and respected, has taken up the
cause with an enthusiasm which doubtless emanates from on high, losing no
opportunity of recommending the work to those who enter his shop, which
is very splendid and commodious.

In many instances, when the peasants of the neighbourhood have come with
the intention of purchasing some of the foolish popular story-books of
Spain, he has persuaded them in lieu thereof to carry home Testaments,
assuring them that it was not only a better and more instructive, but
even a far more entertaining book than those they came in quest of.  He
has taken a great fancy to me, and comes to visit me every evening, when
he accompanies me in my walks about the town and environs.  Every one who
is aware how rare it is to meet with friendship and cordiality in Spain
will easily conceive my joy at finding such a coadjutor, and I have no
doubt that when I am absent he will exert himself as much, and I hope as
effectually, as now that I am present.

I leave Saint James to-morrow for Pontevedra and Vigo, carrying with me
some Testaments which I hope to dispose of, notwithstanding there are no
booksellers in those places.  I shall then return to Corunna, either by
Compostella or by some other route.  I trust the Lord will preserve me in
this journey as He has done in others.  From Corunna I propose to travel
through the mountains to Oviedo in the Asturias, provided that town be
not speedily in the hands of the factious.  By the time these lines reach
you, you will doubtless have heard of the irruption of a part of the
Pretender's hordes into Old Castile; they have carried everything before
them, and have sacked and taken possession of the city of Segovia,
distant only one day's march from Madrid.  From the aspect of things I
should say that the miseries of this land, far from having reached their
climax, are but commencing.  Yet let no one mourn for Egypt: she is but
paying the price of her sorceries and superstitions.


_P.S._--At San Sebastian I shall need Davison's Turkish Grammar, which
you have in the Library.  It will be of assistance to me in editing the
Basque St. Luke; the two languages are surprisingly connected.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. Oct. 9, 1837)
                                                 CORUNNA, _Sep._ 15, 1837.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--About ten days have elapsed since my return to
Corunna.  I stated in my last letter, from Compostella, that it was my
intention to visit Pontevedra and Vigo, which I carried into effect.  In
the first of these places I left, as I passed through, eight copies of
the New Testament in the hands of Senor Garcia, the public notary; three
days subsequent, on my return, I found that he had disposed of them, and
I have since sent him a fresh supply.  He is a very zealous and exceeding
intelligent person, and I have no doubt will prove a highly useful agent
in Pontevedra and its beautiful neighbourhood, which is the garden of
Galicia.  In Vigo I disposed of four Testaments, but was not so fortunate
as to find any person willing or calculated to undertake the charge
accepted by my friend in the former town.

Having reached Padron, in my journey back, I sent my servant and horses
forward to Saint James, and guided by a peasant, proceeded across the
country to Cape Finisterre, on whose rocky sides I so narrowly escaped
being shipwrecked last year.  The distance was fifteen leagues, and the
route lay over wild mountains and valleys, where we suffered much from
fatigue and the heat of the sun.  Arrived at Finisterre we were seized as
Carlist spies by the fishermen of the place, who determined at first on
shooting us, but at last contented themselves with conducting us
prisoners to Corcubion, where the _Alcalde_ of the district, after having
examined me and perused my passport, ordered me to be set at liberty, and
treated me with all manner of civility.  By this journey I accomplished
what has long been one of the ardent wishes of my heart.  I have carried
the Gospel to the extreme point of the old world, having left a Testament
in the hands of Antonio de Trava, an ancient mariner of Finisterre, who
took my part in a very friendly manner, and probably saved me from
experiencing much violence at the hands of his companions.  Finisterre is
a place of wonders, which I hope at some future time to have the pleasure
of narrating; but at present I must speak of other matters.  About one
hundred Testaments have been disposed of at Saint James of Compostella,
and there is at present a steady regular demand for them there which
inspires my heart with gratitude to the Almighty.  Shortly previous to my
journey to Saint James, I despatched fifty copies to Lugo, where the Lord
vouchsafed me good success on a former occasion; this second supply being
almost exhausted, I have sent more.  Only fifty-eight copies have
hitherto been sold at Corunna, for its inhabitants are far too much
engrossed by party politics to entertain much relish for heavenly manna.
I pray every night and morning that their eyes may be opened to their
eternal welfare.

Having now arranged matters in Galicia, as well as circumstances will
permit, I am about to quit this province, directing my course to Oviedo
in the Asturias.  The way is long, and is infested by robbers and
factious; yet I go forth without much fear, hoping that the Lord will
prove my shield and guard as on other occasions.  From Oviedo I proceed
to Santander, and from thence to the Basque provinces.  Santander, being
a large and flourishing town, affords me a tolerable prospect of success,
and I have accordingly directed my agent at Madrid to despatch thither
forthwith 150 Testaments.  The intermediate country is, however, in a
most distracted state, a great part of it being in the hands of the
Carlists; it is therefore probable that the books may never reach me, in
which event I shall have to apply to England.  To the Basque provinces I
hope to carry Saint Luke in a Biscayan version, which I shall print at
Santander should an opportunity present itself.

No time must be lost in accomplishing all that is possible in Spain,
which in the course of a few months may be entirely in the hands of the
Pretender.  I received the lines which you directed to the care of the
British consul at Corunna, and was thankful for them.  Pray present my
kind remembrances to Mrs. Brandram and family, to Mr. Jowett, and Mr. and
Mrs. Browne.

I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, most truly yours,

                                                                G. BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. Oct. 17, 1837)
                                       OVIEDO, ASTURIAS, 29 _Septr._ 1837.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--A day or two after the date of my last letter I
quitted Corunna and passed over the bay to Ferrol, where I left twenty
Testaments in the hands of a person who has just established a small
book-shop in that place.  My servant Antonio went round by land with my
horse, the only one which I now possess, I having disposed {251} of the
largest of the two at Corunna, as I thought he was unable to support the
fatigue of a journey to Oviedo.  At Ferrol I hired a horse and guide as
far as Ribadeo, a distance of twenty leagues, and somewhat less than half
the way to Oviedo.  This journey was a terrible one; during the greatest
part of it we had to toil up and down mountain gorges and ravines, to
force our way through bushes and thickets, and to wade rivulets and
torrents swollen by the rain, which descended continually; our guide
proved perfectly ignorant of the country, and we had to bribe various
peasants to accompany us, though we incurred great risk by so doing of
being conducted to some den of thieves, and stripped and murdered.  At
Ribadeo we procured a fresh horse and guide, and continued our way to
Oviedo, encountering still greater difficulties, the ground being still
more rugged and broken than that which we had previously passed over.  My
own horse rolled down a precipice, and was much maimed, whilst that of
the guide was so worn out by the time he reached Gijon, four leagues from
Oviedo, that he foundered.  As for Antonio and myself, we arrived
barefooted and bleeding, for I need scarcely say that during all this
journey, which amounted at least to 130 miles, we went on foot, the poor
horses being scarcely able to carry our books and baggage.

I am now by the blessing of the Almighty in the city of Oviedo, the
capital of the Asturias, although at an unpropitious season, for the bray
of war is at the gate, and there is the cry of the captains and the
shouting.  Castile is at the present time in the hands of the Carlists,
who have captured and plundered Valladolid, in much the same manner as
they did Segovia.  They are every day expected to march on this place, in
which case they will probably experience an obstinate resistance, very
excellent redoubts having been erected, and several of the convents
strongly fortified, especially that of Santa Clara de la Vega.  All minds
here are at present in a state of feverish anxiety and suspense, more
especially as no intelligence at present arrives from Madrid, which by
the last accounts was beleaguered by the bands of Cabrera, Palillos, and
Orejita.--But I am interrupted, and I lay down my pen.

A strange adventure has just occurred to me.  I am in the ancient town of
Oviedo, in a very large, scantily furnished and remote room of an ancient
_posada_, formerly a palace of the Counts of Santa Cruz.  It is past ten
at night and the rain is descending in torrents.  I ceased writing on
hearing numerous footsteps ascending the creaking stairs which lead to my
apartment--the door was flung open, and in walked nine men of tall
stature, marshalled by a little hunch-backed personage.  They were all
muffled in the long cloaks of Spain, but I instantly knew by their
demeanour that they were _caballeros_, or gentlemen.  They placed
themselves in a rank before the table where I was sitting; suddenly and
simultaneously they all flung back their cloaks, and I perceived that
every one bore a book in his hand, a book which I knew full well.  After
a pause, which I was unable to break, for I sat lost in astonishment and
almost conceived myself to be visited by apparitions, the hunch-back
advancing somewhat before the rest said in soft silvery tones: '_Senor_
Cavalier, was it you who brought this book to the Asturias?'  I now
supposed that they were the civil authorities of the place come to take
me into custody, and rising from my seat I exclaimed, 'It certainly was
I, and it is my glory to have done so.  The book is the New Testament of
God; I wish it was in my power to bring a million.'  'I heartily wish so
too,' said the little personage with a sigh.  'Be under no apprehension,
Sir Cavalier; these gentlemen are my friends.  We have just purchased
these books in the shop where you have placed them for sale, and have
taken the liberty of calling upon you in order to return you our thanks
for the treasure you have brought us.  I hope you can furnish us with the
Old Testament also.'  I replied that I was sorry to inform him that at
present it was entirely out of my power to comply with his wish, as I had
no Old Testaments in my possession, but did not despair of procuring some
speedily, from England.  He then asked me a great many questions
concerning my Biblical travels in Spain, and my success, and the views
entertained by the Society in respect to Spain, adding that he hoped I
should pay particular attention to the Asturias, which he assured me was
the best ground in the Peninsula for our labour.  After about
half-an-hour's conversation, he suddenly said in the English language,
'Good night, sir,' wrapped his cloak around him, and walked out as he had
come.  His companions, who had hitherto not uttered a word, all repeated,
'Good night, sir,' and adjusting their cloaks followed him.

In order to explain this strange scene I must inform you that this
morning I visited the petty bookseller of the place, Longoria, and having
arranged preliminaries with him I sent him in the evening a package of
forty Testaments, all I possess, with some advertisements.  At the time
he assured me that, though he was willing to undertake the sale, there
was nevertheless not a prospect of success, as a whole month had elapsed
since he had sold a book of any description, on account of the
uncertainty of the times and the poverty which pervaded the land.  I
therefore sat down to write this letter much dispirited; this incident
has, however, admonished me not to be cast down when things look
gloomiest, as the hand of the Lord is generally then most busy: that men
may learn to perceive that whatever good is accomplished is not theirs
but His.

I shall quit Oviedo in a few days, but whither I shall now direct my
course I have not determined.  It would be easy for me to reach
Santander, which is but thirty leagues [distant] and the road tolerably
free from accidents; but the state of affairs at Madrid gives me
considerable uneasiness, for I remember that Madrid is the depot of our
books, and I am apprehensive that in the revolutions and disturbances
which at present seem to threaten it, our whole stock may perish.  True
it is that in order to reach Madrid I should have to pass through the
midst of the Carlist hordes, who would perhaps slay or make me prisoner;
but I am at present so much accustomed to perilous adventure, and have
hitherto experienced so many fortunate escapes, that the dangers which
infest the route would not deter me a moment from venturing.  But there
is no certain intelligence, and Madrid may be in safety or on the brink
of falling; perhaps a few hours will inform us, when I shall at once
decide.  My next letter will therefore be either from Santander or the
capital of Spain.

Oviedo is picturesquely situated between two mountains, Morcin and
Naranco; the former is very high and ragged, and during the greatest part
of the year is covered with snow; the sides of the latter are cultivated
and planted with vines.  The town itself possesses nothing very
remarkable with the exception of the cathedral, the tower of which is
very high, and is perhaps the purest specimen of Gothic architecture at
present in existence.  The interior of the edifice is neat and
appropriate but simple and unadorned, for I observed but one picture, the
Conversion of St. Paul.  One of the chapels is a cemetery, in which rest
the bones of eleven Gothic kings, whose souls I trust in Christ have been

I will now conclude in the words of Heber:

    'From Greenland's icy mountains,
    From India's coral strand--
    Where Afric's sunny fountains
    Roll down the yellow sand--
    From many an ancient river,
    From many a palmy plain,
    They call us to deliver
    Their land from error's chain.'

Most truly yours,

                                                                     G. B.

_P.S._--Morning [Sept.] 30th, twenty Testaments have been sold.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. Nov. 13, 1837)
                                                  MADRID, _Novr._ 1, 1837.
                                          CALLE SANTIAGO, No. 16 PISO 3RO.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--In my last letter, from Oviedo in the Asturias, I
stated that my next would be dated either from Santander or the capital
of Spain.  I arrived yesterday at Madrid, but I previously visited
Santander, which I reached with my usual good fortune, without accident,
after a fatiguing journey of six days.  When there, I found to my great
sorrow that the two hundred Testaments which I had ordered to be sent
from Madrid were not come; and I supposed that they had either been
seized on the way by the Carlists or that my letter had miscarried. {256}
I then thought of applying to England for a supply, but I abandoned the
idea for two reasons; first, that I should have to remain idly loitering
at Santander for at least a month before I could receive them--a place
where every article is so dear that my expenses with the strictest
economy would have amounted to nearly two pounds _per diem_; secondly,
that I was very unwell, and unable to procure medical advice at
Santander: for, to tell the truth, ever since I left Corunna I have been
afflicted with a terrible dysentery, and latterly with an ophthalmia, the
result of the other malady.

I therefore determined on returning to Madrid.  To effect this, however,
seemed almost impossible.  Parties of the army of Don Carlos, which in a
partial degree had been routed in Castile, were hovering about the
country through which I should have to pass, more especially that part
called 'The Mountains,' so that all communication had ceased between
Santander and the southern districts.  Nevertheless I determined to
trust, as usual, in the Almighty and to venture.  I purchased, therefore,
a small horse and sallied forth with Antonio, notwithstanding I was so
unwell as to be scarcely able to support myself.  I wished to have
written to you from Santander, but I was exceedingly dispirited and could
not collect my thoughts.  Before departing, I of course entered into
conference with the booksellers as to what they should do in the event of
my finding an opportunity of sending them a stock of Testaments from
Madrid, and having arranged things to my satisfaction I committed myself
to Providence.  I will not dwell long on this journey of three hundred
miles.  We were in the midst of the fire, yet, strange to say, escaped
without a hair being singed; robberies, murders, and all kinds of
atrocity were perpetrated before, behind, and on both sides of us, but
not so much as a dog barked at _us_, though in one instance a plan had
been laid to intercept us.  About four leagues from Santander, whilst we
were baiting our horses at a village hostelry, I saw a fellow run off
after having held a whispering conversation with a boy who was dealing
out barley to us.  I instantly enquired of the latter what the man had
said to him, but only obtained an evasive answer.  It appeared afterwards
that the conversation was about ourselves.  Two or three leagues further
on there was an inn and village, where we had proposed staying, and
indeed had expressed our intention of doing so; but on arriving there,
finding that the sun was still far from its bourn, I determined to
proceed further, expecting to find a resting-place at the distance of a
league; though I was mistaken, finding none until we reached Montaneda,
nine leagues and a half from Santander, where was stationed a small
detachment of soldiers.  At the dead of night we were aroused from our
sleep by a cry that the 'factious' were not far off.  A messenger had
arrived from the _Alcalde_ of the village where we had previously
intended staying, who stated that a party of Carlists had just surprised
that place, and were searching for an English spy whom they supposed to
be at the inn.  The officer commanding the soldiers, upon hearing this,
not deeming his own situation a safe one, instantly drew off his men,
falling back on a stronger party stationed in a fortified village near at
hand; as for ourselves we saddled our horses and continued our way in the
dark.  Had the Carlists succeeded in apprehending me, I should instantly
have been shot, and my body cast on the rocks to feed the vultures and
wolves.  But 'it was not so written'--said my man, who is a Greek and a
fatalist.  The next night we had another singular escape; we had arrived
near the entrance of a horrible pass, called _El puerto de la puente de
las tablas_, or the pass of the bridge of planks, which wound through a
black and frightful mountain, on the further side of which was the town
of Onas, where we meant to tarry for the night.  The sun had set about a
quarter of an hour.  Suddenly a man with his face covered with blood
rushed out of the pass.  Turn back, sir,' he said, 'in the name of God;
there are murderers in that pass; they have just robbed me of my mule and
all I possess, and I have hardly escaped with life from their hands.'  I
scarcely can say why, but I made him no answer, and proceeded; indeed I
was so weary and unwell that I cared not what became of me.  We
entered--the rocks rose perpendicularly right and left, entirely
intercepting the scanty twilight, so that the darkness of the grave, or
rather the blackness of the valley of the shadow of death, reigned around
us, and we knew not where we went, but trusted solely to the instinct of
the horses, who moved on with their heads close to the ground.  The only
sound which we heard was the splash of a stream which tumbled down the
pass.  I expected every moment to feel a knife at my throat, but--_it was
not so written_.  We threaded the pass without meeting a human being, and
within three quarters of an hour after the time we entered it, we found
ourselves within the _posada_ of the town of Onas, which was filled with
troops and armed peasants expecting an attack from the grand Carlist
army, which was near at hand.

Well! we reached Burgos in safety, we reached Valladolid in safety, we
passed the Guadarama in safety, and now we are safely housed in Madrid.
People say we have been very lucky; Antonio says, 'It was so written';
but I say, 'Glory be to the Lord for His mercies vouchsafed.'

I did not find matters in a very prosperous state in Madrid.  Few copies
of the New Testament have been sold; yet what else could be rationally
expected in these latter times?  Don Carlos with a large army has been at
the gates; plunder and massacre were expected, and people have been too
much occupied in planning to secure their lives and property to have much
time to devote to reading of any description.  I have had an interview
with Dr. Usoz, and have just received a most interesting letter from him,
replete with patriotism and piety; amongst other things he says, 'only
circumstances and the public poverty are the cause of the works not
having met with sale at Madrid.'  Of this letter I shall send a
translation.  It contains some remarks respecting Father Scio's version,
which I consider to be of high importance, and humbly recommend to the
attention of the Committee.

But I am at present in Madrid, and am thus enabled to superintend in
person the measures calculated to secure the sale of the work.  I shall
forthwith cause a thousand advertisements to be printed and affixed from
time to time in every part of the city.  I shall likewise employ
colporteurs to vend them in the streets, and shall perhaps establish a
stall or small shop, where Testaments and Testaments alone will be
sold.--No exertion of which I am capable will be spared, and if 'the Word
of the Lord' become not speedily better known at Madrid, it will be
because the Lord in His inscrutable wisdom does not so will it.

Whilst in the northern provinces I ordered a hundred copies to be
despatched from Madrid to each of the three great towns, Valencia,
Seville, and Cadiz, with advertisements; I am glad to be able to state
that advice has been received that the books have reached their
destination.  At the commencement of the coming year it is my intention
to visit those parts; for no work seems to prosper in Spain which is not
closely attended to by the master.  Whilst at Valladolid I ordered all
the copies which remained unsold of the second supply to be sent to
Burgos, and I am now going to despatch a third fifty to the former town,
and a still larger quantity to Oviedo, those which I carried thither
having been all sold during my short stay.

In a few days it is my intention to commit to the press Luke in Basque
and in Rommany, the latter of which versions I propose to carry with me
to Andalusia and Valencia, the two provinces which most abound with the
Rommany-Chai, of whom, by the way, I found no trace in Old Castile,
Galicia, or the Asturias.  As for the Basque version, it is probable that
even in Madrid it will not be without demand, as many Biscayans residing
there will doubtless be eager to read the Gospel when placed within their
reach in their native tongue.

I will now conclude by begging pardon for all errors of commission and
omission.  I am a frail foolish vessel, and have accomplished but a
slight portion of what I proposed in my vanity.  Yet something, though
but little, has been effected by this journey, which I have just brought
to a conclusion.  The New Testament of Christ is enjoying a quiet sale in
the principal towns of the north of Spain, and I have secured the
_friendly interest_ and co-operation of the booksellers of those parts,
particularly him, the most considerable of them all, Rey Romero of
Compostella.  I have, moreover, by private sale disposed of one hundred
and sixteen Testaments to individuals entirely of the lower classes,
namely, muleteers, carmen, _contrabandistas_, etc.

My accounts will follow in a few days.  Now may the Lord bless you, and
dispose you to pray for myself and all in this land of misery and sorrow.

                                                                     G. B.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. Dec. 2, 1837)
                                   MADRID, No. 16 CALLE ST. IAGO PISO 3RO.
                                                         _Novr._ 20, 1837.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--On the other side you have an account of the money
which I expended during my journey, and also of what I have laid out in
the Society's service since my return.  In respect to my expenses, I wish
to state that most articles are very dear in Spain, especially in the
parts where I have travelled, and that I have been subjected to many
expenses which I have not specified in the account, for example the
gate-dues for the books, in every town where I have introduced them--the
printing of advertisements--and particularly farriers' bills, as the poor
horses were continually ailing from over-work, bad provender and falls
received amongst the mountains.  In the account of Testaments sold you
will observe that I make no mention of by far the greater number, namely
those disposed of at Lugo, Saint James, etc., etc., as I have not yet
received the money from the booksellers.  About a week since I received
advice from Leon that the forty copies which I had left there had been
all sold, and that the money was in readiness; I have despatched a fresh
supply of fifty to that important town, where last summer I nearly lost
my life in a burning fever.  I am expecting every day a fresh order from
Salamanca, and hope that, as the circle widens in the lake into which a
stripling has cast a pebble, so will the circle of our usefulness
continue widening until it has embraced the whole vast region of Spain.

I have delayed writing for nearly a fortnight, as during that period I
have been looking out for a suitable shop in which to commence operations
in Madrid.  I have just found one quite to my mind, situated in the
_Calle del Principe_, one of the principal streets.  The rent, it is
true, is rather high (eight _reals_ per diem); but a good situation, as
you are well aware, must be paid for.  I came to the resolution of
establishing a shop from finding that the Madrid booksellers entrusted
with the Testaments gave themselves no manner of trouble to secure the
sale, and even withheld advertisements from the public with which they
were supplied.  But now everything will be on another footing, and I have
sanguine hopes of selling all that remain of the edition within a short

A violent and furious letter against the Bible Society and its
proceedings has lately appeared in a public print; it is prefixed to a
Pastoral of the Spiritual Governor [_i.e._ Bishop] of Valencia, in which
he forbids the sale of the London Bible in that see.  About a week since
I inserted in the _Espanol_ an answer to that letter, which answer has
been read and praised.  I send you herewith an English translation of it.
You will doubtless deem it too warm and fiery, but tameness and
gentleness are of little avail when surrounded by the vassal slaves of
bloody Rome.  It has answered one purpose--it has silenced our
antagonist, who, it seems, is an unprincipled benefice-hunting curate.
As you read Spanish, I have copied his own words respecting the omission
of the Apocrypha; nevertheless, lest you should find some difficulty in
understanding it, I subjoin here the English.

'If the works of Luther were to be given to the world curtailed of their
_principal chapters_, and his maxims and precepts to a certain degree
transformed, what would his followers and disciples do?  Would they not
rise with one accord in numerous bands, and, in order to sustain the
honour of their preceptor, would they not recur to the original writings
and produce in his support his manuscripts?  Would they not resort to all
kinds of argument to prove the spuriousness of that edition, and employ
declamation and reasoning in order to blacken the illicit and fraudulent
means which the Catholics were employing?' etc., etc., etc.

I deemed it my duty, as Agent of the Bible Society in Spain, not to
permit so brutal an attack upon it to pass unanswered.  Indeed I was
called upon by my friends to reply, and though I am adverse to all
theological and political disputes, I feared to refuse, lest the motives
of my silence should be misconstrued.  But now I must be permitted to say
(between ourselves) that it was a very unadvised act to send such a Bible
as the London one over to Spain, a Bible which does the editor no credit
and the Society less; and it was a still more unadvised act to advertise
in the prints of Valencia that it would be given _gratis_ to the poor.
Mr. Villiers, whom I consulted, made use of these words: 'How is it
possible for you (meaning myself) to sell books at Madrid and other
places, when it becomes known that those very same books are being given
away at Valencia?  Moreover, giving away Bibles to the multitude will
seem to imply that there is some plot or conspiracy in the wind, and the
Government, with some shadow of reason, may be called upon to interfere,
and the proceedings of the Society may be brought to a sudden stop in
Spain.'  I hope you will excuse these hints; they are well meant, and in
uttering them I have, as you know, the prosperity of our hallowed cause
solely at heart.

                                                                     G. B.

(I am still very unwell.)

To the Editors of El Espanol

GENTLEMEN,--My attention has this moment been directed by a friend to a
letter which appeared in your journal of the 5th instant, signed Jose
Francisco Garcia and prefixed to a circular of the Governor of the See of
Valencia, the object of which is to forbid the purchasing or reading of
the Castilian version of the Bible by Father Felipe Scio, as edited in
London by the British and Foreign Bible Society, and which the Agent of
the Society at Valencia has announced for sale.

Did the principles of the Bible Society permit them to rejoice at the
misfortunes of their fellow-creatures, even of their enemies, the style
and tone which the writer of this epistle has, unfortunately for himself
and his cause, adopted, would afford them plenteous matter for
congratulation.  He calls himself an ecclesiastic and talks about 'the
sacred duty of his august ministry,' and for the purpose, I suppose, of
showing how strictly he fulfils the precepts of his mild Master and
Redeemer, he styles the Society in question 'an infernal Society,' and
speaks of 'its accursed fecundity.'  Goodly words!  Charitable words!
May I be permitted to enquire in what part of the sacred writings he
found them recommended?  Perhaps in the following text of the Vulgate:--

    'Vae vobis Scribae et Pharisaei hypocritae, qui decimatis mentham, et
    anethum, et cyminum, et reliquistis quae graviora sunt legis,
    _judicium_, _et misericordiam_, et fidem.  Haec oportuit facere, et
    illa non omittere.'

    Matt. cap. xxiii. vers. 23.

    Ay de vosotros, Escribas y Phariseos hipocritas, que diezmais la
    yerba buena, y el eneldo, y el comino, y habeis dexado las cosas, que
    son mas importantes de la Ley, _la justicia_, _y la misericordia_, y
    la fe!  Esto era menester hacer, y no dexar lo otro.

The British and Foreign Bible Society is an infernal society and
consequently its members, one and all, are children of the devil.  Now,
what is required to constitute a child of the devil, according to the
opinion of the Founder of Christianity--of Jesus--the Living Word--the
Eternal God?  Let me quote _His_ own words, according to the Vulgate, the
book of the Church of Rome:

    'Vos ex patre diabolo estis: et desideria patris vestri vultis
    facere.  Ille homicida erat ab initio, et in veritate non stetit,
    quia non est veritas in eo: cum loquitur mendacium, ex propriis
    loquitur, quia mendax est et pater ejus.'

    Joan. cap. viii. vers. 44.

    'Vosotros sois hijos del diablo, y quereis cumplir los deseos de
    vuestro padre: el fue homicida desde el principio, y no permanecio en
    la verdad; porque no hay verdad en el: quando habla mentira, de suyo
    habla; porque es mentiroso, y padre de la mentira.'

By this it should appear that the infernal Bible Society by the
propagation of the Scriptures merely fulfils the desire of its father the
devil, and disseminates that which is his.  Being a child of the devil it
cannot propagate truth; it propagates the Gospel, and nothing
else--_ergo_, the Gospel is a lie and the father of it the devil.

But the Bible Society is accused, not only in the circular, but in the
epistle which introduces it to the _Espanol_, of vending a mutilated and
curtailed version of the holy books.  It is accused of omitting six of
the books which are generally bound up with what is denominated the
Bible; viz., Tobias, Judith, Baruch, Sabiduria, Eclesiastico, y 1o y 2o
de los Machabeos.  The _Christian ecclesiastic_, the author of the
epistle, in indignation at this omission becomes suddenly argumentative,
and puts a case to the heretics, which he deems in point; 'Si vieran la
luz publica las obras de Lutero mutiladas en sus _principales capitulos_,
y transformadas en cierto modo sus maximas y preceptos; que diligencias
no practicarian sus secuaces y discipulos?  Se levantarian a una en
tropas numerosas para sostener el honor de su preceptor, y con el fin de
dejar en su justo lugar a su amado maestre, recurririan a sus escritos
originales, manifestarian en su apoyo los manuscritos, apelarian a todo
linage de argumentos para acreditar la ilegitimidad de aquella edicion, y
emplearian sus declamaciones y raciocinios para ascar los medios rateres
e ilicitos de que se valia el catolicismo.'

Hear it in Gath! hear it in Gilead! hear it on the hills of Israel! yea
let the furthest corners of the earth hear it!  The _principal chapters_
of the Bible are not those of the New Testament, which contains the will
and words of the Saviour, by whom we are to be judged--not those of
Isaiah, who foretold so beautifully and distinctly the coming of that
Saviour to the world--not those of Moses, who wrote of things in their
earliest date, and so nobly depicted the progress of the creation,--but
those of the books of Tobit, Baruch, etc., books which the Roman Church
itself has called apocryphal, and the greater part of which exhibit an
internal character of spuriousness which precludes the possibility of
their being the offspring of inspired minds, though they contain some
things useful and instructive, such as may be found in the writings of
the early doctors, who however never claimed nor were deemed to possess
the gift of inspiration from on high.

Let me here ask: what is to be discovered in the chapters of Tobit, etc.,
of first rate importance to the Christian in his worldly pilgrimage, or
which serves to corroborate and illustrate other parts of Scripture?
Above all, is Christ crucified spoken of or hinted at, as in the
authenticated writings of the Prophets?  If not, what is their value in
comparison with that of other books of Scripture, even could their
authenticity be proved?

Now to that point.  This Christian ecclesiastic calls with a loud voice
upon his brethren to prove by pamphlets and writing the divinity of the
books of Tobit, Judith, etc.  Yea, let them accomplish that--let them
bring sufficient evidence that these apocryphal writings were held in
veneration by the Jews, that they enjoyed a place in the sanctuary along
with the inspired writings, let them show that they were penned by
Prophets, above all _let them produce the originals_--and the Bible
Society will immediately admit them into its editions.  Why not?  I am
not aware that one point of doctrine, either Protestant or Roman, depends
upon their reception or rejection.

In conclusion.  What struck me most on the perusal of this singular
epistle, all the main points of which I believe I have tolerably well
answered, and without much trouble, was the ignorance more than childish,
the extraordinary, unaccountable ignorance, which the author displays on
the subject on which he has written, and all which relates to it,
notwithstanding that subject is a religious one, and he, an ecclesiastic
as he gives the world to know, standing forward as champion of the Church
of Rome.  He is evidently as well acquainted with Scripture and the works
of the Fathers as with the Talmud and Zend-avesta, and with the ideas and
dogmas of those whom he calls heretics, as with the religious opinions of
the Mongols and the followers of the Lama of the Himalayan hills.  The
miserable attack which, in his rancorous feebleness, he has just
committed on the Bible Society will redound merely to his own shame and
ridicule, and the disgrace of the sect to which he belongs.  What could
persuade him to speak of the Vulgate?  What could induce him to grasp
that two-edged sword?  Does it not cut off his own hands?  Does the
Vulgate allude to the Bible Society, or to him and his fellows, when it

    Vae vobis legisperitis, quia tulistis clavem scientiae, ipsi non
    introistis: et eos, qui introibant, prohibuistis.--Lucae, cap. xi.
    vers. 52.

    'Ay de vosotros, Doctores de la Ley que os alzasteis con la llave de
    la ciencia! vosotros no entrasteis, y habeis prohibido a los que

And again:--

    Qui ex Deo est, verba Dei audit.  Propterea vos non auditis, quia ex
    Deo non estis.--Joan. cap. viii. vers. 47.

    'El que es de Dios, oye las palabras de Dios.  Por eso vosotros no
    las ois, porque no sois de Dios.'

What could induce him to speak of Luther and his works?  What does he,
what do his abettors, know of Luther and his writings, or of the ideas
which the heretics entertain respecting either?  I will instruct them.
Luther was a bold inquiring man, with some learning; he read the
Scriptures in the original tongues, and found that their contents were in
entire variance with the doctrines of the Church of the Seven Hills; he
told the world so, as other men had done, with feebler voices, before,
and the best part of the world believed--not him--but the Scripture, for
he gave it to them in a shape which they could understand.  The heretics
look not for salvation by the merits either of Luther or Calvin, for
merits they had none--being merely the instruments which Providence
selected to commence a great work which He has hitherto not thought
proper to perfect.  The heretics look for salvation to Christ and hope to
be forgiven by lively faith in Him and by virtue of His blood-shedding.
They trust not in Peter nor in Paul--both men and sinners--in Luther nor
in Calvin--greater sinners still--but in Christ alone.  They trust not in
stick nor stone, in picture nor in image, in splinter of cross nor bone
of saint, but in Christ alone--not in His mother or His brother--He
Himself has said: 'those that do the will of my Father that is in heaven,
they are my mother, they are my brethren.'

Quae est mater mea, et qui sunt fratres mei? . . .

Quicumque fecerit voluntatem Patris mei, qui in coelis est, ipse meus
frater et soror et mater est.--Matt. cap. xii. vers. 48-50.

Christ alone is the foundation and cope-stone of the true Church.

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. Dec. 8, 1837)
                                              28_th_ _Novr._ 1837, MADRID,
                                          No. 16 CALLE ST. IAGO, PISO 3RO.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I have just received your letter [of Nov. 15th], for
which I thank you heartily.  I write these lines in a great hurry, as no
time must be lost.  The shop opened yesterday, and several Testaments
have been sold, but three parts of the customers departed on finding that
only the New Testament was to be obtained; and I may here state that if
the books which I carried to the provinces had been Bibles, I could have
sold ten times the amount of what I did.  I must therefore be furnished
with Bibles instanter.  Send me therefore the London edition, bad as it
is, say 500 copies.  I believe you have a friend at Cadiz, the consul,
who would have sufficient influence to secure their admission into Spain.
But the most advisable way would be to pack them in two chests, placing
at the top Bibles in English and other languages, for there is a demand,
viz.: 100 English, 100 French, 50 German, 50 Hebrew, 50 Greek, 10 Modern
Greek, 10 Persian, 20 Arabic.  _Pray do not fail_.

Direct the books thus:--


I start to-morrow for Toledo with 100 Testaments, for I must spare no
exertion in such a cause.  I go as usual on horseback.  I am in a great
hurry and can write no more.

Yours most truly,

(Send, with the books, a Modern Greek grammar and dictionary.  You must
likewise renew my credit on Messrs. O'Shea & Compy.)

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. Jany. 8, 1838)
                                            MADRID, CALLE SANTIAGO No. 16,
                                                          _Dec._ 25, 1837.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of
the 5th instant, and also my friend Mr. Jackson's of the 8th.  I should
have replied ere this, had not my time been entirely occupied since my
return from Toledo.  The versions of St. Luke in Gitano and Basque have
been committed to the press; and as the compositors are entirely ignorant
of these languages a most strict surveillance is required, which I hope
will be admitted as an excuse for having so long delayed to answer.  I
expect that within a fortnight my task will be completed.

You are aware that I have established in Madrid a shop, or _despacho_, as
it is here called, for the sale of Testaments, and you are doubtless
anxious to receive information as to its success.  It succeeds well, nay,
I may say very well, when all circumstances are taken into consideration;
for it ought to be known that I have ventured upon this step in the very
place which of all in Spain, affords the least chance of a successful
issue, yet at the same time in the place where such a step was most
needed, provided it be the imperative duty of Christians to make the Word
of their Master known in the dark portions of the earth.  It was a step
fraught with difficulties of every kind.  Madrid, it is true, is the
capital of Spain; yet let no one for a moment suppose that being so it is
consequently the largest, richest and most enlightened town in the
Peninsula.  In the first place, it is inferior in population to Valencia
and Barcelona; in the second, misery and distress reign here to an extent
unknown elsewhere; and so far from its being peculiarly enlightened, I
believe that of all places in the Peninsula it is the least so.  It is
the centre of old, gloomy, bigoted Spain, and if there be one inveterate
disgusting prejudice more prevalent and more cherished in one spot than
another, it is here, in this heart of old, popish, anti-christian Spain,
always difficult of access, but now peculiarly so, as it is scarcely
possible to travel a league from its gates without being stript naked and
murdered.  Yet in this singular capital, in the midst of furious priests
and Carlists, I have ventured upon establishing a shop which bears on its
front in large letters: 'Despatch of the British and Foreign Bible
Society.'  To call the attention of the people to this establishment, I
printed three thousand advertisements on paper, yellow, blue, and
crimson, with which I almost covered the sides of the streets, and
besides this inserted notices in all the journals and periodicals,
employing also a man after the London fashion to parade the streets with
a placard, to the astonishment of the populace.

The consequence has been that at present every person in Madrid, man,
woman, and child, is aware of the existence of the establishment.  You
must feel convinced that such exertions would in London or in Paris have
insured the sale of the whole edition of the New Testament within a few
days.  But hitherto I have had to contend with ignorance--and such
ignorance, with bigotry--and such bigotry, and with great and terrible
distress.  So that since the opening of the establishment, which I hope
the Lord will deign to bless, I have contrived to sell, and I may say
that every copy sold has cost me an exertion, and no slight one, between
70 and 80 New Testaments {274} and 10 Bibles.  You will doubtless wonder
where I obtained the latter: in the shop of a bookseller who dared not
sell them himself, but who had brought them secretly from Gibraltar.  Of
these Bibles there were two of the large edition, printed by William
Clowes, 1828 (I would give my right hand for a thousand of them); these I
sold (on the bookseller's account) for 70 _reals_ or 17 shillings each,
and the others, which were of the very common edition, for 7 shillings,
which is, however, far too dear.  My own Testament I sell for 10 _reals_,
which every person allows to be unaccountably cheap, but I deem it best
to be moderate, on account of the distress of the times.  Permit me here
to observe that this Testament has been allowed by people who have
perused it, and with no friendly feeling, to be one of the most correct
works that have ever issued from the press in Spain, and to be an
exceedingly favourable specimen of typography and paper: and lucky it is
for me that it is impossible to say anything against the edition. {275a}
You will easily suppose that such an establishment in Madrid has caused a
great sensation.  The priests and bigots are teeming with malice and
fury, which hitherto they have thought proper to exhibit only in words,
as they know that all I do here is favoured by Mr. Villiers; {275b} but
there is no attempt, however atrocious, which may not be expected from
such people, and were it right and seemly for _me_, the most
insignificant of worms, to make such a comparison, I would say that, like
Paul at Ephesus, I am fighting with wild beasts.

I receive daily a great many applications for copies gratis, as it is
here the generally received opinion that the Bible Society invariably
gives away its publications; and I must confess that this opinion,
however it may have originated, is very prejudicial to the sale of the

'Wait a while,' say many, 'and these books may be had for nothing.
Friends of ours who have been in England have had them pressed upon them,
and _cart-loads_ have been given away in Cadiz and other places.'  Such a
conversation was related to me yesterday, by my excellent friend and
coadjutor Doctor Usoz, who had just heard it in a coffee-house.  Of this
gentleman I cannot speak in too high terms of admiration; he is one of
the most learned men in Spain, and is become in every point a Christian,
according to the standard of the New Testament.

My projects are these.  As soon as ever my Gospels are ready, I mount the
saddle once more, entrusting the _despacho_ and shopman to the care of
Dr. Usoz.  My course will be directed to Andalusia, a rich and tolerably
enlightened province.  Hitherto I have only had to deal with poverty,
ignorance, and bigotry; but I hope with God's assistance to accomplish
much at Seville and Cadiz.  It is true that to arrive there I shall have
to pass through La Mancha and the Morena district, which are entirely in
the hands of the swarms of banditti whose general is Palillos (he has
upwards of 9000 under his command), or through Estremadura, occupied at
present by the hordes of Jara and Orejita.  But I fear nothing, and trust
that One above will preserve me.  In the meantime let me beg and pray
that you will send Bibles, Bibles, Bibles of all sizes and prices, and in
all languages to Madrid.  You cannot conceive how helpless and forlorn I
feel, 400 miles from the sea-coast, on being begged to supply what I
possess not.  I received an order the other day for 20 Hebrew Bibles.  I
replied with tears in my eyes, 'I have nothing but the New Testament in

You wish to know my reasons for censuring the London edition of the
Spanish Bible.  I will state them in a few words: the utmost confusion
reigns throughout, both as to accentuation and punctuation; words are
frequently omitted or misspelt, and occasionally a short sentence is left
out.  All this is very annoying, but I was perhaps wrong in sending home
'so unmitigated a censure.'  It may possibly occur that a Spanish
edition, unless superintended by very zealous and careful people, may
turn out yet more incorrect.  Therefore I should not be sorry to see any
number arrive at Madrid.

In reply to your observation that I am in a mistake in supposing that
Bibles have been given away to any extent in the south of Spain, permit
me to observe, and always with the greatest humility, that I never
ventured to form any supposition respecting the matter.  But the Vicar
General of Valencia gave as a reason for publishing the circular in which
he forbids the Bible, an advertisement inserted in the Commercial Diary
of Valencia, to the effect, that a person was commissioned in that city
to sell at cheap prices, and even to give away gratis to those who might
not have money at their disposal, copies of the Spanish Bible printed in
London; and on this passage his commentator observes, 'Fine generosity!
Charity worthy of applause and gratitude!'  The friend who brought me the
newspaper stated at the time that the advertisement was calculated to do
harm.  It is certainly liable to much misconstruction.

And now, my dear Sir, having detailed my whereabouts, permit me to
subscribe myself,

Yours most truly,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. Jan. 26, 1838)
                                               MADRID, _January_ 15, 1838.
                                                    No. 16 CALLE SANTIAGO.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--The priests have at length 'swooped upon me,' and I
have received a peremptory order from the Political Governor of Madrid to
sell no more New Testaments.  I have been apprehensive of something
similar for some little time, on account of the late change of Ministry,
the present head of the Cabinet, Ofalia, being one of the most furious
bigots in Spain.  I have just paid a visit to Sir George Villiers, who
has promised to do all in his power to cause the veto to be annulled.
But I must here state that he has not at present much influence, he
having opposed with all his power the accession of Ofalia to the
premiership, to which station the latter has been exalted for the mere
purpose of serving as an instrument of the priestly party.  I therefore
do not place much reliance in Sir George Villiers' power of assisting me;
but I have still great confidence in myself, through the Almighty in
whose cause I am engaged.

Matters were going on very well before this check.  The demand, even for
Testaments, was becoming considerable, so much so that the clergy were
alarmed, and the consequence has been this step.  But they had previously
recourse to another well worthy of them; they attempted to act upon my
fears.  One of the ruffians of Madrid, called _Manolos_, came up to me
one night in a dark street, and told me that unless I discontinued
selling 'my Jewish books' I should have a knife '_nailed in my heart_';
but I told him to go home, say his prayers, and tell his employers that I
pitied them, whereupon he turned away with an oath.  A few days after, I
received an order to send two copies of the Testament to the office of
the Political Governor, with which, after consulting with Sir George
Villiers, I complied, and in less than twenty-four hours, namely, on the
evening of last Saturday, an _alguacil_ arrived at the shop with the
notice prohibiting the further sale of the New Testament, permission to
print which I had obtained from the Ministry of Isturitz after so much
trouble and anxiety.

One circumstance rejoices me.  They have not shut up my little
_despacho_, and as soon as ever the Bibles arrive (and I have advice from
Barcelona of their being on the way) I shall advertise them, for I have
received no prohibition respecting the sale of any work but the New
Testament.  Moreover, within a few days the Gospel of Saint Luke in
Rommany will be ready for delivery, so that I hope to carry on matters in
a small way till better times arrive.  I have been advised to erase from
the shop windows the words 'Despatch of the British and Foreign Bible
Society,' but I intend to do no such thing; those words have tended very
much to call attention, which was my grand object.  Had I attempted to
conduct things in an underhand manner, I should at the present moment
scarcely have sold 30 copies instead of nearly 300, which in Madrid are
more than equivalent to 3,000 sold on the littoral.  People who know me
not, nor are acquainted with my situation, may be disposed to call me
rash; but I am far from being so, as I never adopt a venturous course
when any other is open to me.  But I am not a person to be terrified by
any danger, when I see that braving it is the only way to achieve an
object.  The booksellers refused to sell my work; I was compelled to
establish a shop of my own.  Every shop in Madrid has a name.  What name
should I give mine but the true one?  I was not ashamed of my cause nor
my colours.  I hoisted them, and have fought beneath them not without

The Levitical party in Madrid have, in the meantime, spared no effort to
vilify me.  They have started a publication called 'The friend of the
Christian religion,' in which has appeared a furious attack upon me,
which I have however treated with the contempt it deserves.  But not
satisfied with this, they have endeavoured to incite the ignorant
populace against me, by telling them that I am a sorcerer and a companion
of Gypsies and witches, and I have been called so in the streets.  That I
am an associate of Gypsies and fortune-tellers I do not deny, and why
should I be ashamed of their company when my Master mingled with
publicans and thieves?  Many of the poor Gypsy race come frequently to
visit me, receive instruction, and hear parts of the Gospel read to them
in their own language, and when they are hungry and faint I give them to
eat and drink.  This may be deemed sorcery in Spain, but I am not without
hope that it will be otherwise estimated in England; and were I to perish
to-morrow I think there are some who would be disposed to say that I have
lived not altogether in vain (always as an instrument of the 'Most
Highest'), having been permitted to turn one of the most valuable books
of God into the speech of the most oppressed and miserable of His

No more at present, but I hope to write again within a few days.

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. Mar. 27, 1838)
                                           MADRID, CALLE SANTIAGO, No. 16.
                                                         17 _March_, 1838.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--As I entertain little doubt that yourself and my
other good friends are anxious to obtain information respecting the
course of matters in Madrid, I write the present letter, although I could
have wished to tarry a little longer, in the hope of being able to afford
more satisfactory intelligence.  In the first place, allow me to state
that about six weeks since I despatched to England a copy of Saint Luke
in Rommany, by the courier of the Embassy, which I hope you received, and
that it afforded you satisfaction.  I may also add that yesterday the
printing of the Basque translation of the same Gospel was brought to a
happy conclusion, to my very great satisfaction, as it has caused me much
trouble and anxiety, the press having been brought to a stop three times
from the necessity of casting fresh type, the usual Spanish founts being
insufficient to print a sheet in this singular language, owing to all its
words being contained within the compass of six or seven letters, the
demand for which is in consequence tremendous.  With the Rommany I had no
difficulty whatever.  Within a week or two it is my intention to publish
both Gospels simultaneously.  With this preamble, I will now proceed to
other matters.

During the last two months I have been almost incessantly engaged in
negotiations with the Ministry of Count Ofalia, for the purpose of
obtaining permission to sell the New Testament in Madrid and the
nullification of the prohibition.  I have experienced, as might be
expected, great opposition, which I have not yet surmounted; but I am by
no means dispirited, as these obstacles are merely temporary.  I have had
to contend against six Bishops at present resident in Madrid, and amongst
them him of Toledo, the Primate of Spain, who have denounced the Bible,
the Bible Society, and myself.  Nevertheless, notwithstanding their
powerful and united efforts, they have been unable to effect their
principal object, namely, my expulsion from Madrid and Spain.  The Count
Ofalia is a very good and excellent man, though weak and superstitious to
an exceeding degree; and notwithstanding he has permitted himself to be
made the instrument, to a certain extent, of these people, he will not
consent to be pushed to such a length.  Throughout this business, as far
as it has proceeded, I cannot find words sufficiently strong, to do
justice to the zeal and interest which Sir George Villiers has displayed
in the cause of the Testament.  He has had six interviews with Ofalia on
the subject, and in these he has expressed to him his sense of the
injustice and tyranny which have been practised in this instance towards
his countryman, as he does me the honour of calling me.  Ofalia has been
much moved by these remonstrances, and on several occasions has promised
to do all in his power to oblige Sir George; but then the Bishops, and
particularly his confessor, whom he consults every night, again beset
him, and playing upon his religious fears, prevent him from acting a
just, honest, and honourable part.

At the desire of Sir George Villiers, I drew up, a little time since, a
brief account of the Bible Society and an exposition of its views,
especially in respect to Spain, which he himself presented with his own
hand to the Count.  Of this memorial I send you a translation, and I
think that you will do me the justice to say that, if I have not
flattered and cajoled, I have expressed myself honestly and frankly, as a
Christian ought.  Ofalia on reading it, said, 'What a pity that this is a
mixed society, and that all its members are not Catholics.'  A few days
subsequently, to my great astonishment, he sent a message to me by a
friend, requesting that I would send him a copy of my Gypsy Gospel.  I
may as well here state that the fame of this work, although unpublished,
has spread like wildfire through Madrid, and every person is passionately
eager to possess a copy; indeed, several grandees of Spain have sent
messages with similar requests, all of which I have, however, denied.  I
instantly resolved to take advantage of this overture on the part of
Count Ofalia, and to call on him myself.  I therefore caused a copy of
the Gospel to be handsomely bound, and proceeding to the palace, was
instantly admitted to him.  He is a dusky, diminutive person, between
fifty and sixty years of age, with false hair and teeth, but exceedingly
gentlemanly manners.  He received me with great affability, and thanked
me for my present; but on my proceeding to speak of the New Testament, he
told me that the subject was surrounded with difficulties, and that the
whole body of the clergy had taken up the matter against me; but he
conjured me to be patient and peaceable, and he would endeavour to devise
some plan to satisfy me.  Amongst other things, he said that the Bishops
hated a sectarian more than an atheist; whereupon I replied, that, like
the Pharisees of old, they cared more for the gold of the Temple than the
Temple itself.  Throughout the whole of our interview he evidently
laboured under great fear, and was continually looking behind and around
him, seemingly in dread of being overheard, which brought to my mind an
expression of Sir George Villiers, that if there be any truth in
metempsychosis, the _anima_ of Count Ofalia must have originally belonged
to a mouse.  We parted in kindness, and I went away wondering by what
strange chance this poor man had become Prime Minister of a country like

I have now given a plain narrative of what I have been about up to the
present moment, by which you will see that I have accomplished all that
lay within the circumscribed sphere of my ability, and have brought every
engine into play which it was in my power to command.  Let it always be
borne in mind that it was no fault of mine that, immediately after my
arrival in Madrid from my journey, a retrograde Ministry came into power,
the head of which is a weak, timid, priest-ridden man.  Sir George has
several times told me, that had the Ministry of Calatrava and Mendizabal
remained in place, he himself would have answered that I should have
received no interruption in my labours, and that he will almost say the
same in respect to any future Ministry; and it is impossible that the
present can long maintain its ground, as it is disliked by the Court and
despised by the people.

I therefore write at present for instructions.  Shall I wait a little
time longer in Madrid; or shall I proceed at once on a journey to
Andalusia and other places?  I am in strength, health and spirits, thanks
be to the Lord! and am at all times ready to devote myself, body and
mind, to His cause.  Therefore I pray that my friends at home will point
out the course which they think I ought to pursue under these
circumstances.  In a few days I shall send my account to Mr. Hitchin.  I
have hitherto delayed, not having yet settled for the printing of the
Basque St. Luke.  I received your kind letter of the 8th ultimo.

I remain, my dear Sir, most truly yours,

                                                                     G. B.

_P.S._--I have received the 500 Bibles in sheets from Barcelona.

Translation of a Memorial to his Excellence the Count D'Ofalia

     (_Endorsed_: Memorial of Mr. G. Borrow to Count Ofalia, Madrid, recd.
                                                           March 28,1838.)

To His Excellence The Count D'Ofalia

SIR,--I have the honour to inform you that, being a member and Agent of
the British and Foreign Bible Society, I some months since printed, with
permission, at Madrid, an edition of the New Testament of Jesus Christ in
the Castilian language according to the authorised version of Father
Felipe Scio, Confessor of the late King Ferdinand of happy memory.

That to effect the sale of the said work, in which the Society had
subjected itself to an expense of more than 100,000 _reals_, I
subsequently established a Despatch at Madrid, where the work was
publicly sold at a moderate price until the 12th of January last, when
the person intrusted with the management of the said Despatch received a
notice from Don Francisco Gamboa, Civil Governor of Madrid, forbidding
the further sale of the New Testament until fresh information.

As very erroneous ideas are generally entertained in Spain concerning the
constitution of the Bible Society and the views in which its proceedings
originate, I will endeavour in a few words to afford some correcting
information respecting both.  I beg to state that the Bible Society is
composed of Christians attached to many and various sects and forms of
worship--for example, members of the Roman, Greek, Anglican, Calvinistic,
and Lutheran Churches, and of all ranks and grades in society, who,
though they may differ from each other in points of religious discipline,
form and ceremony, agree in the one grand and principal point: that there
is no salvation from the punishment due to original sin but through vivid
faith in Christ, manifested and proved by good works, such being the
amount of the doctrine found in those inspired writings known as the New
Testament which contain the words of the Saviour whilst resident in flesh
on earth, together with the revelations of the Holy Spirit to His
disciples after He had ascended to the throne of His heavenly glory.

Having said thus much respecting those who constitute the Bible Society
and the religious feeling which unites them, I will now devote a few
words to the explanation of their views, than which nothing can be more
simple or easily defined.  They have no other wish or intention in thus
associating together than to assist, as humble instruments under Christ,
in causing His doctrine to be propagated and known in all the regions of
the vast world, the greatest part of which is still involved in
heathenism and ignorance; and looking upon their earthly goods as of
little or no value in comparison with such a glorious end, they expend
them in printing editions of their Master's Word in all languages, and in
transporting them to the remotest corners of the earth, that their
benighted fellow-creatures may see the lamp of salvation, and enjoy the
same spiritual advantages as themselves.  Such is their wish, such their
view, totally unallied with commerce or politics, hope of gain and lust
of power.  The mightiest of earthly monarchs, the late Alexander of
Russia, was so convinced of the single-mindedness and integrity of the
British and Foreign Bible Society, that he promoted their efforts within
his own dominions to the utmost of his ability, and established at St.
Petersburg a Bible Society of his own, whose publications have been a
source of blessing not only to Russia, but to many other lands.

After the above statement it is unnecessary for me to dilate on the
intentions of the Society with respect to Spain, a country which perhaps
most of any in the world is in need of the assistance of the Christian
philanthropist, as it is overspread with the thickest gloom of heathenish
ignorance, beneath which the fiends and demons of the abyss seem to be
holding their ghastly revels; a country in which all sense of right and
wrong is forgotten, and where every man's hand is turned against his
fellow to destroy or injure him, where the name of Jesus is scarcely ever
mentioned but in blasphemy, and His precepts [are] almost utterly
unknown.  In this unhappy country the few who are enlightened are too
much occupied in the pursuit of lucre, ambition, or ungodly revenge to
entertain a desire or thought of bettering the moral state of their
countrymen.  But it has pleased the Lord to raise up in foreign lands
individuals differently situated and disposed, whose hearts bleed for
their brethren in Spain.  It is their belief that ignorance of God's Word
is the sole cause of these horrors, and to dispel that ignorance they
have printed the Gospel in Spain, which they dispose of at a price within
the power of the poorest to command.  Vain men would fain persuade
themselves and others that the Society entertains other motives, by which
uncharitableness they prove that they themselves are neither Christians,
nor acquainted with the spirit of Christianity.  But let the most fearful
and dubious reassure themselves with the thought, that should the Bible
Society foster the very worst intentions, it would baffle their power, if
even assisted by Satanic agency, to render Spain worse than it at present

I beseech you, Sir, to co-operate in a good cause, and not seek to retard
its progress; for be assured that sooner or later it will triumph.

I have the honour to remain,


Your Excellence's obedient servant,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                        (_Endorsed_: recd. Apr. 9th, 1838)
                                                _March_ 30, 1838.  MADRID,
                                                        16 CALLE SANTIAGO.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--Without waiting for an answer to my last, which I
despatched some ten days since, I shall take the liberty of again
troubling you with a short letter.  My principal motive for so doing is a
visit which I have just been favoured with from our friend Mr. Rule of
Gibraltar, a gentleman who has much interested me, and of whose zeal,
piety, and discretion I have formed the highest opinion.  It seems that
the little congregation at Cadiz has been broken up and dispersed by
order of the Government, and in consequence he has travelled to Madrid to
make intercession in its behalf.  I am happy to say that Sir George
Villiers has promised to befriend him to the utmost of his ability.
Since his arrival here he has received intelligence which has filled him
with much uneasiness, and he has entreated me to write home in
conjunction with himself respecting the affair, with which indeed I am in
some degree concerned.  I, however, beg leave to state, that it is with
the utmost reluctance I say a word upon the subject, being at all times
unwilling to interfere in the slightest degree in the projects or
movements of another party; but I feel that entire silence in this case
would be wrong and unadvisable.

I come now to the point.  A friend of ours, who by your last favour I was
informed was about to leave Spain for the benefit of his health, has, it
appears, changed his mind, and is on his way to visit Andalusia and the
principal towns, namely Cadiz, Malaga, and Seville.  Now Mr. Rule is far
better acquainted with him than I can pretend to be, and he has told me
that knowing him perfectly well, he entertains great dread as to the
effect which our friend's visit to those parts will have over the issue
of the affair which has brought him, Mr. R., to Madrid.  I must here
observe that I had myself made preparations to visit Andalusia, having
indeed been advised to do so by Sir George Villiers, who will afford me
all the recommendations and assistance which I can possibly desire.  I
may add that some time since I despatched thither a considerable number
of Testaments, which are now being sold at Seville, etc.  I therefore
humbly conceive that the arrival of another edition is likely to produce
a clash highly detrimental to the interests of the Society, and to
perplex the minds of the people of the west of Spain respecting its
views.  But I confess I am chiefly apprehensive of the reacting at
Seville of the Valencian drama, which I have such unfortunate cause to
rue, as I am the victim on whom an aggravated party have wreaked their
vengeance, and for the very cogent reason that I was within their reach.
I think, my dearest sir, you know sufficient of my disposition to be
aware that I am one of the last people disposed to make complaint,
whether with or without cause; but that passage in your affectionate and
kind letter which implied, though in the gentlest terms, that I had been
rash in my proceedings in Madrid, gave me a pang, more especially as I
knew from undoubted sources that nothing which I had done, said, or
written was the _original_ cause of the arbitrary step which had been
adopted in respect to me.

There is another matter which gives me much uneasiness and which I wish
to confide to your bosom and yours alone, though you will, of course,
communicate it to such friends as you may deem proper.  I have received
two letters from an ex-priest at Valencia of the name of Marin, to the
first of which I have replied, though very cautiously.  This very
unfortunate individual, who it seems for some time past has felt the
workings of the Spirit, was last year induced by certain promises, and
hopes thrown out, to leave Valencia, where he enjoyed a benefice on which
he supported himself and an aged mother, and to repair to Gibraltar for
the purpose of receiving Christian instruction under Mr. Rule.  After
remaining some time at that place, where, Mr. R. informs me, his conduct
was in most points exemplary, he returned to Valencia, where his
apostasy, as the Papists termed it, having become known, his salary of
six _pesetas_ daily was sequestrated, and himself and his parent in
consequence deprived of their only means of subsistence.  But this is not
all.  The aid and assistance which he had been led to expect from England
were withheld in his great pinch and need, and the very persons who had
taken advantage of the commotion within him to induce him to take what I
must term a rash and hazardous expedition, were the first to forsake him,
and Mr. Rule states that there is cogent reason for fearing that this
unfortunate man and his aged parent are at present perishing with hunger
in the barbarous streets of Valencia.  I wish it to be known that the man
himself in his letters told me nothing of the promises which had been
held out to him, nor breathed a word of complaint, I being indebted to
Mr. R. for my knowledge on this point, who has a very high opinion of his
sincerity, although he has been termed an impostor, though the fact of
his having lost his salary by the opinions which he has embraced ought to
have precluded such an idea.  Now the Lord forbid that this man and his
mother perish, so that his death be laid by the enemy at the threshold of
the humble but unworthy servants of Christ.  I therefore this day have
sent him a small sum on my own account to relieve the pinch of utter
need, till more can be known of him.

Pray excuse this letter written with a heart full of trouble and doubt.
Dispose of me as you think proper, my dear sir, who am truly yours,

                                                                     G. B.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                           (_Endorsed_: recd. May 1, 1838)
                                                 MADRID, _April_ 19, 1838.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I enclose a letter from Mr. Rule, dated Valencia,
12th inst., which I have just received, and upon which I beg to make a
few observations.

In this very extraordinary espistle I am requested to take charge of an
ex-priest of the name of Pascual Marin, on his arrival at Madrid, where
it appears he is hastening, to furnish him with cash, make an estimate of
his probable expenses, and moreover to write home to the Society, without
delay, for the purpose of advising the Committee to join with the
gentlemen of another religious institution in affording the said Marin
the means for supporting himself in the Spanish capital, where it is the
writer's opinion that he may be usefully employed in _distributing_ the
Scriptures, and in preparing the way for a future mission.  Well and
good!  But my friends at home, discreet as I know them to be, will
doubtless be anxious to be informed by virtue of what correspondence or
communication with me does Mr. Rule now write from Valencia, consigning
to my hands this person, whom I have never seen, and whom I know not,
although, as I have stated on a former occasion, I have received two
letters from him, to one of which I returned a cautious and guarded

Mr. Rule suddenly arrived at Madrid, upon some business connected with
the Society to which he belongs; he called upon me, and I, upon learning
from him that he was a perfect stranger in Madrid, without friends or
acquaintances, received him with the hospitality which the Scripture
enjoins, and which I continued during his stay in the capital, a period
of about ten days.  In the course of our conversations he spoke to me of
the peculiar hardships of the case of Pascual Marin of Valencia, who, as
he informed me, had been induced, partly by conviction, and partly by
persuasion, to secede from his own Church, but who not having received
from England the assistance which he had been led to expect, was in
danger of perishing, with his mother, in the streets of Valencia, he
having lost the benefice which constituted their support.  Whereupon
through the medium of Mr. Rule I sent him 500 _reals_ on my own account,
without, however, directly or indirectly pledging myself to do anything
more in his behalf, or to attempt to engage the Bible Society to do so.

Mr. Rule left Madrid for Valencia, and on his departure informed me that
it was his firm intention to carry Marin with him to Gibraltar, to which
resolution I, of course, made no objection, as I conceived that it was a
matter with which I had little or no connection, and in which it would be
advisable not to involve myself, more especially on account of the
peculiar state of the affairs at Madrid with which the Society had done
me the honour to entrust me.

I was aware that in my situation peculiar caution in every step was
necessary and indispensable, and after Mr. Rule's departure I harboured
not the slightest surmise that my attentions to himself, or the slight
conversation which I had held with him respecting Marin, could possibly
tend to compromise me in any point.  I was, however, mistaken.

In the name of all that is singular, what does Mr. Rule mean, without the
courtesy of asking my permission, by sending this man to me at Madrid?
Assist in preparing the way for a mission!  Very probably; but that
mission will be my own, over the frontiers, under an escort of lancers.
Assist in distributing the Scriptures!  Probably again; but it will be to
the wild winds of Madrid, when they are torn to pieces by the common
hangman in the Plaza Mayor, and cast into the air.  I must confess that I
am vexed and grieved that as fast as I build up, some intemperate friend
rushes forward, and by his perhaps well-meant zeal casts down and
destroys what has cost me much labour.

Things are beginning to assume a more favourable aspect.  I have opened
my shop once more, though not at present for the sale of Testaments.  The
priests are frantic, and through the medium of one or other of the
Ministers, are continually giving me trouble; but Sir George Villiers has
vowed to protect me, and has stated so publicly, and he is every day
acquiring more and more influence here.  He has gone so far as to state
to Ofalia and Gamboa, that provided I be allowed to pursue my plans
without interruption, he will be my bail (_fiador_) and answerable for
everything I do, as he does me the honour to say that he knows me, and
that he can confide in _my_ discretion.  Therefore let me call upon my
beloved and respected friends at home, as they love their Lord and the
credit of His cause, to offer no encouragement to any disposed 'to run
the muck' (it is Sir George's expression) against the religious or
political _institutions_ of Spain, to keep clear of the _exaltado_ or
republican party, and to eschew tracts, with political frontispieces,
concerning any _uncertain_ future dispensation; but to confine themselves
strictly and severely to the great work of propagating the Word which
sooner or later is doomed to christianise the entire world.

I hope I shall be excused the freedom of these observations, when it is
reflected that I, being the Agent of the Bible Society, have to answer to
those who protect me here for all that is done in any part of Spain under
the sanction of the Society.

Concerning Marin and what is to be done in his respect, I feel myself
after much reflection and private prayer totally incompetent to offer a
suggestion.  He can be of no possible service to me in Madrid, but the
contrary.  One thing, however, is evident, that, thanks to particular
individuals, we are to a certain extent compromised.

I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, most truly yours,

                                                                     G. B.

To the Rev. Andrew Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. May 3rd, 1838)
                                                 MADRID, _April_ 23, 1838,
                                                           CALLE SANTIAGO.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of
the 10th inst. and also my friend Mr. Jackson's of the 5th, containing
the resolution of the Committee in my respect, which I shall of course
attend to.

My reason for troubling you with these lines is an apprehension that my
late communication has not been understood by you; for there is something
in the tone of your reply which has made me rather unhappy, though I can
easily conjecture that at the time you wrote it you were labouring under
a considerable pressure of business.  Had you paid a little more
attention to my letter, you would have perceived that it was written
unwillingly on my part, but Mr. Rule thought his province had been
invaded.  As for myself I wish to say nothing, but it will be as well to
remind you that all the difficulty and danger connected with what has
been accomplished in Spain have fallen to my share, I having been
labouring on the flinty rock and sierra, and not in smiling meadows
refreshed by sea breezes.  I hoped in Seville and other towns of
Andalusia to have secured the sale of more Testaments than it is probable
that I shall be able to do in Spain proper, where I was afraid that my
efforts had not been appreciated; but if my good friend Mr. Graydon has
preceded me to those regions let him remain there and let no one
interrupt him.  I hope in the Lord that he will be permitted to prosper.
When you write to him, present my cordial regards, and assure him that at
all times I shall be happy to hear from him.

I hope nothing in my last letter, in which I forwarded Mr. R's
communication, will be taken in bad part.  I repeat that I was grieved to
have Marin saddled upon me, in a place where I am surrounded by spies and
persecuted by many and vindictive enemies.  The idea, however, of his
having gone back to Rome is preposterous, the Bishop of Jaen having
assured Mr. R. that he had turned a deaf ear to all the promises which
had been made to him, with the view of inducing him to recant.  He has
not yet made his appearance.

I remain, my dear Sir, yours,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

_P.S._--You have never had the urbanity to acknowledge the receipt of my
Gypsy Gospel.  In the Spanish newspapers it has been called a great
accession to the literature of Spain.

To Mr. William Hitchin

                                           (_Endorsed_: recd. May 8, 1838)
                                                 MADRID, _April_ 26, 1838.

I take the liberty of herewith sending you my accompt.  It is still an
imperfect one, the printing of the Basque Gospel not being charged for,
which I have not defrayed, together with some other items, for which I am
indebted to my printer, who, having lately fought a duel, is laid up with
his wounds, and cannot for the present transact business.  I have charged
here, as you will observe, for the translation of the Basque St. Luke, an
item, which I sent in, in a former accompt, but which appears to have
been overlooked in your favour of Decr. 28, 1837.  Independent of the
Despatch, I have charged for the hire of a room as a general depot for
the Scriptures.  I am afraid to place my whole stock in the shop, owing
to the continual persecution to which I am subjected, notwithstanding I
enjoy powerful protection.  Only last week a band of _alguazils_ rushed
into the premises and seized 25 copies of the Gospel of St. Luke in
Rommany which I had advertised.  To the present accompt of the money
which I have disbursed, you will please to add the previous one of Novr.
1837, which I sent in, which will enable you to see how I stand.

I hope the Financial Committee and yourself will excuse any inaccuracies,
supposing I have fallen into any, respecting money drawn, as I am much
busied in negociations, and have lately been so harassed by vexatious
proceedings, that I believe my mind has somewhat suffered.  However,
glory to God, the Society's shop is open _at Madrid_, though we are not
allowed to advertise and though it be but a small taper burning amongst
Egyptian darkness.  I hope it will serve as a watch-light and beacon to

I remain, etc.,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

_P.S._--The reprint of 1.5 sheet was owing to want of care on my part, in
the translation.  I therefore wish that the amount be struck out from my

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd.  May 22, 1838)
                                       PRISON OF MADRID, _May_ [11], 1838.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I write, as you see, from the prison of Madrid, in
which I have been confined for the last ten days; for it has pleased God
to confer upon me the highest of mortal honours, the privilege of bearing
chains for His sake.  I shall not at present detail the circumstances
which occasioned my arrest, as doubtless the English newspapers will
afford you all the particulars, nor shall I dwell upon the situation in
which I find myself, but be content with observing that the violence, the
preconcerted violence and atrocity, which have been practised towards me,
will prove the means of accomplishing not what my enemies hoped and
wished, the destruction and disgrace of the Bible-cause in Spain, but its
triumph, its pure and sublime triumph.

Satan has, as usual, foiled himself, and his poisoned shafts have
recoiled, and pierced his own bosom.  You will have heard how gallantly
Sir George Villiers has taken my part, and how he has made a national
question of the persecution of which I have been the object, and which
lately reached its climax.  It will be necessary to tell you here that I
have always communicated to him the steps which I intended to take in
order to promote the circulation of the Bible, and they have uniformly
met with his approbation; therefore you will easily conceive that in what
I have done there has been no rashness nor anything which savoured of the
arts of the charlatan: I have too much respect for the Gospel and my own
character to have recourse to them.

I will now state a fact which speaks volumes as to the state of affairs
at Madrid.  My arch-enemy the Archbishop of Toledo, the Primate of Spain,
wishes to give me the kiss of brotherly peace.  He has caused a message
to be conveyed to me in my dungeon, assuring me that he has had no share
in causing my imprisonment, which he says was the work of the Civil
Governor, who was incited to that step by the Jesuits.  He adds that he
is determined to seek out my persecutors amongst the clergy and to have
them punished, and that when I leave prison he shall be happy to
co-operate with me in the dissemination of the Gospel!!!

I cannot write much now, for I am not well, having been bled and
blistered.  I must, however, devote a few lines to another subject, but
not one of rejoicing or Christian exultation.  Marin arrived just after
my arrest, and visited me in prison, and there favoured me with a scene
of despair, abject despair, which nearly turned my brain.  I despised the
creature, God forgive me, but I pitied him; for he was without money and
expected every moment to be seized like myself and incarcerated, and he
is by no means anxious to be invested with the honours of martyrdom.  I
have offered him some relief--what else could I do?  He seems partly
insane.  I reap, as I expected, the full credit of his conversion.  The
Bishop of Cordova got up the other day in council, and said that I was a
dangerous pestilent person, who under the pretence of selling the
Scriptures went about making converts, and moreover employed
subordinates, for the purpose of deluding weak and silly people into
separation from the Mother Church.

Of this man I have said in a letter to Mr. Rule, not yet sent: 'I hope
that Marin's history will prove a warning to many of our friends, and
tend to a certain extent to sober down the desire for doing what is
called at home _smart things_, many of which terminate in a manner very
different from the original expectations of the parties concerned.  To do
a great and a good thing requires a heart replete with the love of Christ
and a head cooled by experience and knowledge of the world; both of which
desiderata I consider incompatible with a wish to shine.'

It is probable that I shall leave prison to-morrow.  Pray write to my
mother and beg her not to be alarmed.

I remain, Revd. and dear Sir,

Yours faithfully,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. May 23, 1838)
                                                    MADRID, May 13 [1838].

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--Post is just about to start, but I am compelled to
write a few words.  The Bible cause has triumphed in Spain.  Whatever I
do in future connected with the Gospel is to have the sanction of the
Government, who have expressed a desire to co-operate with the Bible
Society towards the civilization of the country.

I left prison yesterday, and this morning was sent for to the British
Embassy, where Sir George entered into an infinity of details which I
cannot state at present.  Sir George has commanded me, however, to write
to the following effect:--

Mr. Graydon must leave Spain, or the Bible Society must publicly disavow
that his proceedings receive their encouragement, unless they wish to see
the Sacred Book, which it is their object to distribute, brought into
universal odium and contempt.  He has lately been to Malaga, and has
there played precisely the same part which he acted last year at
Valencia, with the addition that in printed writings he has insulted the
Spanish Government in the most inexcusable manner.  A formal complaint of
his conduct has been sent up from Malaga, and a copy of one of his
writings.  Sir George blushed when he saw it, and informed Count Ofalia
that any steps which might be taken towards punishing the author would
receive no impediment from him.

I shall not make any observation on this matter further than stating that
I have never had any other opinion of Mr. Graydon than that he is
insane--insane as the person who for the sake of warming his own hands
would set a street on fire.  Sir George said to-day that he, Graydon, was
the cause of my harmless shop being closed at Madrid and also of my
imprisonment.  The Society will of course communicate with Sir George on
the subject: I wash my hands of it.

I remain, dear Sir, most truly yours,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. May 28, 1838)
                                                     MADRID, May 17, 1838.

Excuse the haste in which my last letter was written; it doubtless seemed
somewhat incoherent, I will now endeavour to be more explicit.  Moreover,
since sending it, I have had an interview of nearly two hours with Count
Ofalia, and have much that is new to communicate.  But previously to
stating what is likely to afford pleasure and satisfaction, I must
proceed to disburden myself of what I heard with the greatest pain, and
which I communicate with sorrow and reluctance.

Sir George Villiers and Mr. Southern, first Secretary of Legation, were
the persons who first informed me of what has taken place at Malaga.  It
appears that Mr. Graydon arrived there a short time before my
imprisonment at Madrid; and instead of endeavouring to circulate the
Scriptures in a quiet and reasonable manner, such as becomes a gentleman
and a Christian, and such as had been recommended to me previous to my
late long journey in the north of Spain and which I have always
endeavoured to follow, he had recourse to means the most improper and
disreputable, very similar to those which he is said to have followed in
all the other towns which he has visited.  In order to excite curiosity
and cause a sensation, he published advertisements and handbills replete
with the lowest abuse of the Spanish clergy and Government, and
containing his own private opinions concerning religion.  However, not
contented with this, he had the cruelty--I will not call it baseness--to
speak of _myself_, with, whom he asserted that he was co-operating in
every point, and that all he was doing was under the sanction of the
Bible Society.

Intelligence of these proceedings was of course sent to Madrid, with one
of the handbills, which I have not seen, but of which Mr. Southern, a
literary and accomplished gentleman, has said that its abusive virulence
is only to be equalled by its stupidity and folly.  Sir George Villiers,
though very unwell, was deeply engaged in my affair, and exchanging
official notes with the Government.  He had just informed Count Ofalia
that unless full and summary satisfaction were afforded me, he should
demand his passports, and write to the commanders of all the English
ships of war engaged in furnishing assistance to Spain, commanding them
to suspend operations forthwith.  Suddenly Count Ofalia arrived at the
Embassy, and flinging down on the table one of Graydon's handbills,
exclaimed: 'Peruse that, and then tell me, as a Cavalier and a gentleman,
and the Envoy of a powerful and enlightened nation, whether you can any
longer uphold the cause of your friend in prison, and persist in saying
that he has been cruelly and unjustly treated.  You see that he is in the
closest connexion with an individual whose conduct every civilised man
must reprobate, it being a most flagrant breach of common decency and

This unexpected incident occurring at such a critical moment almost
stunned Sir George; but, recovering himself, he denied in the most
positive manner that I had any connexion with Graydon, and asserted that
he did not believe the latter was an Agent of the Bible Society, and that
at all events he was quite sure that he had acted in this case without
its knowledge and concurrence, and that it would be willing to declare so
in the clearest and most satisfactory manner.

Count Ofalia, finding Sir George so positive, said that since I had such
a voucher he could not reasonably doubt my innocence; and that with
respect to the Society he supposed that it too well understood its own
interest to trust its affairs to a person whose conduct was calculated to
bring odium and misfortune on the fairest and most promising cause.  But
Sir George has subsequently assured me that, but for this unfortunate
occurrence, he could have made much better terms for me with the Spanish
Government than from that period he thought it politic to demand.

I will now state one circumstance, and the Lord knows how true it is.  It
was my prayer night and morning in my dungeon that I might hear of no
fresh outbreak of this man, whose character I was but too well acquainted
with, as I think you will concede when you call to mind my letter written
immediately after I had received intelligence that he was on the way to
Andalusia.  He has up to the present moment been the 'Evil Genius' of the
Bible cause in Spain and of myself, and has so chosen his means and
moments of operation that he has been almost invariably successful in
shaking to the ground every feasible plan which my friends and myself
have devised for the propagation of the Gospel in a _steady and permanent
manner_.  But I wish not to dwell upon this subject, and shall only
observe that his insane career (for in charity I believe him to be
insane) must be instantly brought to a termination.  Sir George has
already written him a letter, in which I believe he advises him to quit
the country.  Mr. Southern the other day made the following observation,
which I shall ever remember:--

'Sir George Villiers up to the present moment has been disposed to render
you (meaning myself) every assistance, and especially the Bible Society,
which he looks upon as the most philanthropic institution which the world
has ever known.  Take care, however, that he be not wearied and
disgusted.  He must not be involved in such affairs as this of Malaga,
and it must not be expected that he is to put his lance in rest in
defence of every person who visits Spain to insult the authorities, and
who, after having received merited reproof and correction, writes home to
his friends that he is a martyr in the holy cause of religion.'

I may perhaps give offence by what, I have written.  I shall be grieved
if it prove so.  But I have had no other resource, and I have stated the
truth and what my conscience commanded me; and permit me here to observe,
that if any one in the world has a right to be thus free it is myself,
who have ventured and suffered much in Spain.

Excuse me now for speaking one moment of myself.  Notwithstanding I have
travelled very extensively in this strange country, and have established
many depots of Testaments most of which are flourishing (I have just
received intelligence from my correspondent at Valladolid that forty
copies have been sold at Burgos, the heart of Old Castile), not one word
of complaint has been transmitted to the Government; and though I have
suffered so much persecution in Madrid, I have been but paying (one of my
sources of information is Count Ofalia himself) the account of others who
seem to have been reckless as to how much woe and misery they might heap
on my head, provided they could play the part with impunity which their
own distempered desires dictated.

Now to pleasanter subjects.  Count Ofalia has given me very excellent
advice, which it will be well if the Society permit me to follow.
Amongst other things he said:--'Be very cautious for some time, and even
suspend the sale of the Gospel in Madrid, and devote all your energies to
make friends amongst the clergy, very many of whom are disposed to favour
your enterprise.  It would not be prudent at present for the Government
to interfere with ecclesiastical matters, as the war is not yet
terminated, but much can be done in a quiet way by yourself.'

I must here state that there is a board of ecclesiastics at present
sitting, occupied in examining the Spanish Bible as printed by the
Society.  It has been denounced by the Jesuits as not being a faithful
edition of Father Scio's version, independent of the omission of the
Apocrypha; but hitherto the opinion of the board has been decidedly in
our favour, and the Bishop of Vich has, moreover, declared that it
probably will be expedient to co-operate with the Society in printing
cheap editions of the Scripture for the use of the people, as daily
experience shows that the old system cannot be carried on and that the
sacred writings must be thrown open.

The chief difficulty to settle will be the Apocrypha; but I have
authorised a friend to state that the Society is disposed to make every
possible concession, and to go so far as to relinquish the Old Testament
entirely and to content itself with circulating the New.  Perhaps I went
too far in this advance; but I believe a similar concession has been made
in the case of Ireland, and I feared to lose all by aiming at too much.
However flattering affairs may appear at present, I am well aware that a
herculean labour is to be surmounted before matters can be placed on a
safe footing in Spain.  Prudence, coolness and firmness are at this
moment particularly necessary; and let it never for a moment be supposed
that religious instruction and the knowledge of genuine Christianity can
be introduced into Spain by scurrilous handbills and the low arts of the

A split with Rome will very shortly ensue, by which I mean that no
attention will be paid to Bulls, against which several of the principal
ecclesiastics have spoken; with these puissant auxiliaries we must act in

Allow me in conclusion to state a beautiful piece of conduct of Sir
George Villiers.  I have commissioned one of the Bishops to request for
me an interview with the Archbishop of Toledo.  Sir George on hearing
this said:--'Tell the Archbishop that I also am anxious for the favour of
an interview, in order that I may assist in clearing up any doubt, which
he may still entertain, respecting the intentions of the Bible Society;
he has only to state the day, and I will wait upon him.'

                                                                G. BORROW.

_P.S._--I yesterday transmitted you a Spanish newspaper in which I have
published an advertisement, disclaiming in the name of the Bible Society
any writings which may have been circulated tending to lower the
authorities, civil and ecclesiastic, in the eyes of the people, and
denying that it is its intention or wish to make proselytes from the
Catholic form of worship.  I took this step by advice, I had likewise a
particular reason of _my own_.

Marin is still here looking out for some secular employ, but he is
continually haunting me.  He tells me that he is preparing an accounts of
all his dealings with G [Graydon] and R [Rule], in which he details the
promises made him to induce him to sign a document purporting to be a
separation from the Roman Church.  He says that he was abandoned because
he refused to preach publicly against the Chapter of Valencia, which step
would have insured him a dungeon.  This may be true or false, but I have
taken my precautions.

Translation of the Advertisement
(_Endorsed_: recd. May 28, 1838)

A rumour having been spread that some individuals, calling themselves
agents of the British and Foreign Bible Society, under the pretext of
circulating copies of the Holy Scriptures, have traversed several towns
on the eastern and western coasts of Spain, and have published writings
in which the respect due to the ecclesiastical and civil authorities of
Spain has not been observed, but on the contrary an intention has
evidently been manifested in them to disparage them in the eyes of the
population of those parts, I hasten to make the following public

That such individuals--if it be certain that there are such--have in this
respect acted upon their own responsibility, without permission and even
in direct opposition to the intentions of the Bible Society, inasmuch as
on the principles of the New Testament similar attempts are to be
reprobated and regarded with horror, being in direct opposition to the
express commands of the Saviour and His Apostles, who in their addresses
and writings have on various occasions exhorted the faithful to shew
respect and obedience to their masters and superiors, even when they were
heretics or idolaters.

And as it has been stated that certain persons, under pretext of being
agents of the British and Foreign Bible Society, have shown zeal in
persuading, and have actually in some cases persuaded, various
individuals to sign documents purporting to be declarations of separation
from the Catholic Faith--I herewith publicly declare that the British and
Foreign Bible Society has no connection with such persons; and should
there be any such, it is not disposed either to confirm or to approve
their proceedings, but on the contrary is desirous of stating in the most
energetic and solemn manner that it disavows and rejects all connexion or
intercourse with them.

The British and Foreign Bible Society is composed of individuals
belonging to all sects, in which those are divided who follow the faith
of Jesus Christ, amongst whom are seen co-operating for one grand and
holy object, followers of the Apostles, Romans, and members of the Greek
and [of the] English Church, whose design is the propagation of the word
of Christ in all countries, separating wholly from the forms of
discipline of the Church, [which are] matters of secondary consideration,
which for a long time have filled the world with bloodshed and calamity,
and have tended to keep up in the hearts of Christians unhappy and
malignant feuds.  Far from being desirous of making proselytes among
those professing the Catholic worship, the Bible Society is at all times
disposed to hold out the hand of Christian fraternity to the clergy of
Spain and to co-operate with those who believe, as the Catholic clergy
assuredly do, 'that all shall be saved, who, believing in Jesus Christ,
show it by their good works.'

Madrid _May_ 12, 1838,

Office of the Bible Society,

Calle del Principe.

                                                   (Signed) GEORGE BORROW,
                                      Sole authorised Agent of the British
                                       and Foreign Bible Society in Spain.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. June 2, 1838)
                                               MADRID, [_May_ 23rd, 1838].

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I have just had an interview with the Archbishop [of
Toledo].  It was satisfactory to a degree I had not dared to hope for.

In the name of the _Most Highest_ take steps for preventing that
miserable creature Graydon from ruining us all.

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. June 4, 1838)
                                                   MADRID, _May_ 25, 1838,
                                                           CALLE SANTIAGO.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--Events follow each other so quickly in this singular
country, and my situation is so peculiar, and I am afraid so little
understood at home, that I am obliged to take up the pen more frequently
than I am inclined.  Do not think me intrusive in again troubling you.  I
do it in the hope of preventing any alarm which an incorrect report of
the following circumstance might cause you.

Immediately on receiving intelligence of the scenes which had taken place
at Malaga, the Spanish Government resolved to put an end to all Bible
transactions in Spain, and forthwith gave orders for the seizure of all
the Bibles and Testaments in the country wherever they might be deposited
or exposed for sale.  They notified the same to Sir George Villiers,
expressly stating that the resolution was taken in consequence of the,
'_Ocurrido en Malaga_.'  I have now learnt that several of my depots have
been seized in various parts of Spain, for example, at Salamanca,
Seville, and of course at Malaga.  This, however, gives me little
uneasiness, for, with the blessing of God, I shall be able to repair all,
always provided I am allowed to follow my own plans, and to avail myself
of the advantages which have lately been opened especially to cultivate
the kind feeling lately manifested towards me by the principal Spanish

But now prompt measures must be taken on the part of the Bible Society.
Knowing as I do the character of the unfortunate man who has lately
caused so much havoc, I am apprehensive that he may be guilty of some
fresh excess.  From Mr. Rule's letter, which I forwarded to you, it
appears that for some time it has been his intention to quit Spain, but
not quietly, witness this last affair of Malaga.  Now my fear is that on
his return to Barcelona, on finding that the books and Bibles intrusted
to his discretion have been seized, he will publish as a parting legacy
some tirade against the Government and clergy.  If he do, he will
probably bring himself into trouble and at all events destruction on our
cause; for the Government is quite despotic, as indeed is necessary at
the present time, and the whole of Spain is under martial law.  Therefore
for his own sake, if not for the sake of the cause, let him instantly
retire, abandoning the Bibles to their fate.  They shall not be lost.

I have had, as you are aware, an interview with the Archbishop of Toledo.
I have not time to state particulars, but he said amongst other things,
'Be prudent, the Government are disposed to arrange matters amicably, and
I am disposed to co-operate with them.'  At parting he shook me most
kindly by the hand, saying that he liked me.  Sir George intends to visit
him in a few days.  He is an old, venerable-looking man, between seventy
and eighty.  When I saw him, he was dressed with the utmost simplicity,
with the exception of a most splendid amethyst ring, the lustre of which
was truly dazzling.

My poor servant, a Basque from Hernani, is, I am afraid, dying of the
jail-fever, which he caught in prison whilst attending me.  He has
communicated this horrible disorder to two other persons.  Poor Marin is
also very ill, but I believe with a broken heart; I administer to his
needs as far as prudence will allow me, for I am grieved for him.  I have
not yet despatched my letter to Mr. Rule, as I wish not to offend him;
but I cannot approve of his forcing Marin to come up to Madrid, contrary
to his wishes.  Zeal is a precious thing, when accompanied with one grain
of common sense.

In conclusion, I beg leave to say that Sir George Villiers has authorised
me to state that provided the Bible Society entertain any doubts
respecting my zeal in the Christian cause, or the correctness of my
conduct during my sojourn in Spain, he hopes they will do him the
satisfaction to communicate with him.

I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, most truly yours,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. June 23, 1838)
                                                  _June_ 13, 1838, MADRID,
                                                    No. 16 CALLE ST. IAGO,

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I have received your letter of June 1st, but not
that of the 30th May which you allude to in the same, therefore I am
still in the dark upon many points.

Another bitter cup has been filled for my swallowing.  The Bible Society
and myself have been accused of blasphemy, sedition, etc.  A collection
of tracts has been seized in Murcia, in which the Catholic religion and
its dogmas are handled with the most abusive severity; these books have
been sworn to as having been left _by the Committee of the Bible Society
whilst in that town_, and Count Ofalia has been called upon to sign an
order for my arrest and banishment from Spain.  Sir George, however,
advises me to remain quiet and not to be alarmed; as he will answer for
my innocence.

I am now compelled to ask a blunt question.  Will the Bible Society look
calmly on and see itself compromised and my life and liberty exposed to
danger by the lunatic vagaries of that unfortunate Graydon, who, like a
swine in a field newly sown, has of late been solely occupied in rooting
up the precious seed and destroying every hope of a glorious harvest?
The newspapers are teeming with articles against us, for we are no longer
looked upon as a Society founded on the broad principles of Christianity,
but as one instituted for the carrying into effect of sectarian purposes.

In justice to me, it behoves the Society to communicate with Sir George
Villiers, who has abstracts of all the letters which I have written to
the Society, and who will vouch for their correctness.

Do not be cast down; all will go well if the stumbling block be removed.
I write in haste.

                                                                G. BORROW.

P.S.--What do you mean, my dear Sir, by the '_grano salis_'?

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. June 25, 1838)
                                                  MADRID, _June_ 14, 1838.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--Immediately after having despatched my letter of
yesterday, I received through my friend, Mr. Wood, a communication from
the Bishop of ---, the president of the body of ecclesiastics at present
engaged in examining our Bible.

He is of my opinion that the Committee of the Bible Society should in the
present exigency draw up an exposition of their views respecting Spain,
stating what they are prepared to do, and what they are not prepared to
do--above all, whether in seeking to circulate the Gospel in this country
they harbour any projects hostile to the Government and the established
religion; moreover, whether the late distribution of tracts was done by
their connivance or authority, and whether they are disposed to sanction
in future the publication in Spain of such a class of writings.

It of course does not become me to advise the Committee and yourself upon
this point.  I merely take the liberty of communicating the circumstance,
and observing that the Prelate in question is a most learned and
respectable man, and one of the warmest of our friends.

I have not seen any of the tracts seized at Murcia, nor do I wish.  If
examined by the Council, I shall declare on oath that I am innocent and
ignorant of the matter, and that I believe the Bible Society to be the
same.  Sir George assured me that one or two of them were outrages not
only to common sense but decency.

I forgot to tell you yesterday that my poor servant is dead.  He died of
the pestilential typhus caught in the prison; his body at the period of
his death was a frightful mass of putridity, and was in consequence
obliged to be instantly shovelled into the Campo Santo or common field of
the dead near Madrid.  May Christ be his stay at the Great Day; a more
affectionate creature never breathed.

Hear now what the _Madrid Gazette_ says of our Society, in an article in
which it reproves in the strongest terms the conduct lately pursued by
pseudo-agents, and gives me a rap on the knuckles for an anti-catholic
expression or two in the advertisement in which I denounced them.  The
_Gazette_ is the official organ of the Government, and all it says is
under authority:--

'We will not conclude this article without bestowing the merited tribute
of praise on the project truly magnificent of the Bible Society,
considered not under the religious but the social aspect.  Christianity
has been, is, and will be the grand agent in the civilisation of the
world; and the preaching of its doctrine, and the propagation of its
maxims among the nations who know it not, is the most costly present
which can be offered them, and the pledge of belonging one day to the
civilised world; or if they already belong to it, of ameliorating their
actual condition in society.

'Excellent moral results must also be produced among the poorer classes
of the people in Christian countries by the distribution of copies of the
sacred writings; and the Bible Society acts with the highest prudence, by
accommodating itself to the civil and ecclesiastic laws of each country,
and by adopting the editions there current.  In Spain, where every
translation of the Bible is forbidden, and in general every book of
religion, without previous censure and license of the ecclesiastical
authority, much good may arise from distributing either of the two
translations, that of Father Scio or that of Amat; but precisely as they
are, and without the suppression of the notes, which explain some
difficult passages.  If the great object be the propagation of the
evangelic maxims, the notes are no obstacle, and by preserving them we
fulfil our religious principle of not permitting to private reason the
interpretation of the sacred Word.'

Excuse me this long extract.

I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, most truly yours,

                                                                G. BORROW.

_P.S._--I should wish to make another Biblical tour this summer, until
the storm be blown over.  Should I undertake such an expedition, I should
avoid the towns and devote myself entirely to the peasantry.  I have
sometimes thought of visiting the villages of the Alpujarra mountains in
Andalusia, where the people live quite secluded from the world.  What do
you think of my project?

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                       (_Endorsed_: recd. 27th June, 1838)
                                                  MADRID, _June_ 16, 1838.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I have received your communication of the 30th ult.,
containing the resolutions of the Committee, to which I shall of course

Of your letter in general, permit me to state that I reverence the spirit
in which it is written, and am perfectly disposed to admit the
correctness of the views which it exhibits.  [Greek text].  But it
appears to me that in one or two instances I have been misunderstood in
the letters which I have addressed [to you] on the subject of Graydon.

I bear this unfortunate gentleman no ill will, God forbid, and it will
give me pain if he were reprimanded publicly or privately; moreover I can
see no utility likely to accrue from such a proceeding.  All that I have
stated hitherto is the damage which he has done in Spain to the cause and
myself, by the--what shall I call it?--imprudence of his conduct; and the
idea which I have endeavoured to inculcate is the absolute necessity of
his leaving Spain instantly.

Take now in good part what I am about to say, and O! do not misunderstand
me!  I owe a great deal to the Bible Society, and the Bible Society owes
nothing to me.  I am well aware and am always disposed to admit that it
can find thousands more zealous, more active, and in every respect more
adapted to transact its affairs and watch over its interests.  Yet with
this consciousness of my own inutility I must be permitted to state that
linked to a man like Graydon I can no longer consent to be, and that if
the Society expect such a thing, I must take the liberty of retiring,
perhaps to the wilds of Tartary or the Zigani camps of Siberia.

My name at present is become public property--no very enviable
distinction in these unhappy times, and neither wished nor sought by
myself.  I have of late been subjected to circumstances which have
rendered me obnoxious to the hatred of those who never forgive, the
bloody Church of Rome, which I have doubt will sooner or later find means
to accomplish my ruin; for no one is better aware than myself of its
fearful resources, whether in England or Spain, in Italy or in any other
part.  I should not be now in this situation, had I been permitted to act
alone.  How much more would have been accomplished, it does not become me
to guess.

I had as many or more difficulties to surmount in Russia than I
originally had here, yet all that the Society expected or desired was
effected without stir or noise, and that in the teeth of an imperial
_Ukase_ which forbade the work which I was employed to superintend.

Concerning my late affair, I must here state that I was sent to prison on
a charge which was subsequently acknowledged not only to be false but
ridiculous.  I was accused of uttering words disrespectful towards the
_Gefe Politico_ of Madrid; my accuser was an officer of the police who
entered my apartment one morning before I was dressed, and commenced
searching my papers and flinging my books into disorder.  Happily,
however, the people of the house who were listening at the door heard all
that passed, and declared on oath that, so far from mentioning the _Gefe
Politico_, I merely told the officer that he, the officer, was an
insolent fellow and that I would cause him to be punished.  He
subsequently confessed that he was an instrument of the Vicar General and
that he merely came to my apartment in order to obtain a pretence for
making a complaint.  He has been dismissed from his situation, and the
Queen has expressed her sorrow at my imprisonment.  If there be any doubt
entertained on the matter, pray let Sir George Villiers be written to!

I should be happy to hear what success attends our efforts in China.  I
hope a prudent conduct has been adopted; for think not that a strange and
loud language will find favour in the eyes of the Chinese; and above all,
I hope that we have not got into war with the Augustines and their
followers, who, if properly managed, may be of incalculable service in
propagating the Scriptures.

I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, truly yours,

                                                                G. BORROW.

_P.S._--The documents, or some of them, shall be sent as soon as

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                            (Endorsed: recd. July 5, 1838)
                                                  MADRID, _June_ 26, 1838.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I shall not be able to send the documents in
question, as they are lodged in the archives, and are now become
state-papers.  Those that relate to the affair at Malaga I have not yet
been able to obtain a perusal of; it will therefore perhaps suffice for
the present to say that in one of them the Government was stigmatized as
being '_voraz de pesetas_' (voracious of pesetas), and the Catholic
religion termed '_un sistema del mas grosero fanatismo_' (a system of the
grossest fanaticism).  It was well for the writer of this trash that the
Government were at the time alarmed at the step which they had taken in
imprisoning myself, and did not wish to press the matter home: otherwise
he could not have escaped so easily as he did.  Yet what must we think of
an Englishman, who, relying for protection on the fear and respect which
the mighty country to which he belongs everywhere inspires, visits a
Spanish town in a state of revolution--as Malaga was--and, for the
bringing about a particular object, adds to the ferment by appealing to
already excited passions?  But I shall not dwell further on this subject.
The Society are already aware of the results of the visit of our friend
to Malaga, all their Bibles and Testaments having been seized throughout
Spain, with the exception of my stock in Madrid (upwards of 3000)--Count
Ofalia having in a communication to Sir George declared that he had full
confidence in my honour and good faith, being well persuaded that I
harboured no designs but those I professed.

I send you on the other side some extracts from one of the tracts which
purports to be 'A true history of the Virgin of Sorrows, to whom Don
Carlos, the Rebel and Fanatic, has dedicated his cause, and the ignorance
which he trumpets.'  The one, however, which has given most offence is 'A
Catechism on the Principal Controversies between Protestants and
Catholics,' translated from the English.

I now await your orders.  I wish to know whether I am at liberty to
pursue the course which may seem to me best under existing circumstances,
and which at present appears to be to mount my horses which are neighing
in the stable, and once more to betake myself to the plains and mountains
of dusty Spain, and to dispose of my Testaments to the muleteers and
peasants.  By doing so I shall employ myself usefully, and at the same
time avoid giving offence.  Better days will soon arrive, which will
enable me to return to Madrid and reopen my shop; till then, however, I
should wish to pursue my labours in comparative obscurity.

I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, most truly yours,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

_P.S._--I am engaged in translating the Acts of the Apostles into Basque.

_On the fly-leaf of this letter appear the following extracts_.

                 Historia Verdadera de la Virjen Dolorosa
                 a Quien el rebelde y fanatico D. Carlos
            Ha Dedicado su causa y la ignorancia que Pregona.


P. 17. 'Echase de ver en todos estos epitetos grandiosos prodigados a
Maria la obra del enemigo de Dios, el cual, ensencialmente idolatra, ha
sabido introducir la idolatria bajo las apariencias del Cristianismo, y
se esfuerza en desviar sobre una criatura, y hasta en la imagen de esta,
la adoracion que se debe a Dios tan solo.  Sin duda que con igual objeto
se colocan por todas partes las estatuas de Maria, adornadas con una
corona, y llevando en brazos un tierno infante, como para acostumbrar al
pueblo al concepto entranable de [la superi] oridad de Maria sobre

P. 30. 'Tal es nuestra conclusion.  Reconociendo y sancionando este
culto, la Iglesia de Roma se constituye iglesia _idolatra_, y todos sus
miembros que no saben buscar la verdad detras del monstruos-o
hacinamiento de impiedad con que la oculta, son supuestos por la misma
condenados a la perdicion.  El caudillo de esta Iglesia, que no se
averguenza de prohibir y hacer que se prohiba, por donde quiera alcanza
su ferula, la palabra de Dios, debiera saber cuando menos, se atesorase
el espiritu de Cristo, que mejor empleara sus bulas barriendo la Iglesia
Romana de todas sus iniquidades, que no promulgando tan injustas
prohibiciones.  Pero ya que, afferrandose contra mejora, esta iglesia
proteje y consagra por todas partes un sinnumero de supersticiones y
cultos erroneos, claro esta que con esto se alza y caracteriza como uno
de los principales ajentes del Anticristo.'

To Mr. W. Hitchin

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. July 20, 1838)
                                                   MADRID, _July_ 9, 1838.

On the other side I beg leave to present my account.  One or two items
require some explanation.

1st, Mr. Borrego's bill of 3084 _reals_, of which 1760 are for the
printing of the Basque Gospel, the remainder is for advertisements,
boxes, package and freight of books to various parts of Spain, namely, to
Valencia, Malaga, Santander, Corunna, etc.  The original bill I shall
forward as soon as it has been signed and vouched for by Messrs. O'Shea,
who paid the money.

2nd, As to prison expenses, I must observe that the Government after
placing me at liberty offered to indemnify me for all the expense I had
incurred in prison, but I refused to accept their offer; should, however,
the Committee think that I ought to have done so, they will deduct the

3rd, 60 _reals_ for porterage; on receiving intelligence that my depots
had been seized in various parts of the country, I thought it advisable
to place my stock in Madrid in safety, and in consequence under cover of
night removed it from the shop, and concealed it in portions in the
houses of various friends.

In conclusion, I must beg that you will collate my present account with
my last, as I am apprehensive that I may have charged the same outlay
twice; the copy of my last account was lost when my papers were seized.

I make an excursion to-morrow to the rural districts of New Castile,
which will probably occupy a fortnight.  I have sent before me two
hundred Testaments.

I remain, etc.,

                                                                G. BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. July 28, 1838)
                                           VILLA SECA, DISTRICT OF TOLEDO,
                                                          _July_ 14, 1838.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I write these lines from Villa Seca, a village
situated on the bank of the Tagus about nine leagues from Madrid.  A few
minutes before my departure I received your letter of the 29th June, in
which you mention letters being on the way for me.  I, however, could not
wait for them for many reasons, principally because in that event I
should have lost a considerable number of Testaments, which I had sent
before me.  I am moreover tolerably well acquainted with the contents
[of] those communications from the one which I have already received.

For some time past I have been determined at whatever risk to make an
effort to circulate the Scriptures in the rural districts of New Castile,
where I am grieved to say the most profound ignorance of true religion
prevails.  I have been induced to take up my quarters for the present in
Villa Seca, from being well acquainted with a labourer of the place;
moreover its situation is favourable to my views as there are many other
villages in its vicinity.  Poverty it is true abounds, but I am perfectly
sure that our friends at home are disposed to make every reasonable
sacrifice, and not for a moment to balance the dust of Mammon against the
eternal welfare of their fellow-creatures.

For the last two days I have been riding in various directions.  It is a
great blessing that heat agrees with me wonderfully, as we have no less
than thirty-six degrees according to Reaumur; otherwise it would be
impossible for me to accomplish anything, the atmosphere resembling the
flickering glow about the mouth of an oven.  I have already disposed of
about thirty Testaments, of course at exceedingly low prices.  To-day,
however, I have commenced a new course, and have sent abroad various
peasants with some parcels of Testaments; my host, whom it has pleased
the Lord to render favourable to the cause, has himself taken the field,
and has proceeded to the neighbouring village of Vargas mounted on his
donkey.  If success do not attend my efforts, the Lord knows that it will
be no fault of mine.  It will be the working of His own holy will.

I had scarcely written the above lines when I heard the voice of the
donkey in the court-yard, and going out I found my host returned.  He had
disposed of his whole cargo of twenty Testaments at the old Moorish
village of Vargas, distant from hence about two leagues, and all in the
space of about half an hour.  Eight poor harvest-men, who were refreshing
themselves at the door of the wine-house, purchased each a copy; whilst
the village schoolmaster took all the rest for the little ones beneath
his care, lamenting at the same time the great difficulty he had long
experienced in obtaining religious books, owing to their scarcity and
extravagant price.  Many other persons were also anxious to procure
Testaments, but my envoy (Juanito Lopez) was unable to supply them.  At
his departure they requested him to return within a few days.

I will not conceal from you that I am playing a daring game, and it is
very possible that when I least expect it I may be seized, tied to the
tail of a mule, and dragged either to the prison of Toledo or Madrid.
Yet such a prospect does not discourage me in the least, but rather urges
me on to persevere; for I assure you--and in this assertion there lurks
not the slightest desire to magnify myself and produce an effect--that I
am eager to lay down my life in this cause, and whether a Carlist's
bullet or the jail-fever bring my career to an end, I am perfectly
indifferent.  But I have other matters now to speak of.

You hint that a desire is entertained at home to have a personal
conference with me.  In the name of the Highest I entreat you all to
banish such a preposterous idea.  A journey home (provided you intend
that I should return to Spain) could lead to no result but expense and
the loss of precious time.  I have nothing to explain to you which you
are not already perfectly well acquainted with by my late letters.  I was
fully aware at the time I was writing them that I should afford you
little satisfaction, for the plain unvarnished truth is seldom agreeable.
But I now repeat, and these are perhaps among the last words which I
shall ever be permitted to pen, that I cannot approve, and I am sure no
Christian can, of the system which has lately been pursued in the large
sea-port cities of Spain, and which the Bible Society has been supposed
to sanction, notwithstanding the most unreflecting person could easily
foresee that such a line of conduct could produce nothing in the end but
obloquy and misfortune.

It was unkind and unjust to taunt me with having been unsuccessful in
distributing the Scriptures.  Allow me to state that no other person
under the same circumstances would have distributed the tenth part.  Yet
had I been utterly unsuccessful, it would have been wrong to check me
with being so, after all I have undergone--and with how little of that
are you acquainted.  You are perfectly correct in concluding that certain
persons are laughing in their sleeve.  But at what?  At the success of
their own machinations?  Not at all!  They are laughing at the
inconceivable fatuity which induces those whom _they once dreaded_ to
destroy themselves and their own labours.  The stone with immense toil is
rolled up to the brow of the mountain, when they see it recoil, not at
the touch of Jupiter but at the impulse of the insane Sisyphus, who pulls
it down on his own body.  With common sense and prudence very much might
have been accomplished in Spain, and still may.  I am sorry to say that
hitherto very little of [that] has been used.

You are surprised that I should presume to hint that I have been linked
to G. [Graydon], but at the same time admit that my identification with
him by my enemies has been unavoidable.  Now in the name of all that is
reasonable, to what does such an admission amount but that I have been
linked to this man, and it matters very little whether or not I have been
brought into personal contact with him.  But now farewell to him: and in
taking leave of this subject, I will add that the unfortunate M. [Marin]
is dying of a galloping consumption, brought on by distress of mind.  All
the medicine in the world would not accomplish his cure.

With God's permission I will write again in a few days and till then,

I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, most truly yours,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. July 30, 1838)
                                 VILLA SECA, NEW CASTILLE, 17 _July_ 1838.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I addressed a letter to you on the 14th instant,
which I hope you will receive in course of time, together with the
present; in that letter I informed you where I was, stating my
proceedings and intentions.  It has pleased the Lord to permit me to be
hitherto very successful in these regions, so much so that during less
than a week I have disposed of the entire stock of Testaments which I
brought with me, namely two hundred; only three or four remain, which are
already bespoken.  Last night I sent off a messenger to Madrid for a
fresh supply, which I expect will arrive in a day or two.

I must here observe that up to the present moment I have endeavoured as
much as possible to avoid noise, and notoriety.  Advertisements and
handbills I have utterly eschewed.  I brought none with me, and in these
rural places, the name of a printing press is unknown; nor have I much
endeavoured to work upon the mind of the simple peasantry around me by
words.  I merely tell them that I bring them the words and life of the
Saviour and His saints at a price adapted to their humble means.
Nevertheless the news of the arrival of the book of life is spreading
like wild-fire through the villages of the Sagra of Toledo, and wherever
my people and myself direct our course we find the inhabitants disposed
to receive our merchandise; it is even called for where not exhibited.
Last night as I was bathing myself and [my] horse in the Tagus, a knot of
people gathered on the bank crying: 'Come out of the water, Englishman,
and give us books; we have got our money in our hands.'  The poor
creatures then held out their hands filled with _cuartos_, a copper coin
of the value of a farthing, but I had unfortunately no Testament to
afford them.  My servant, however, who was at a short distance, having
exhibited one, it was instantly torn from his hands by the people, and a
scuffle ensued to obtain possession of it.  It has very frequently
occurred that the poor labourers in the neighbourhood, being eager to
obtain Testaments and having no money to offer us in exchange, have
brought various other articles to our cottage as equivalents--for
example, rabbits, fruit and barley; and I have made a point never to
disappoint them, as such articles are of utility either for our own
consumption or that of the horses.

In Villa Seca there is a school in which fifty-seven children are taught
the first rudiments of education.  Yesterday morning the schoolmaster, a
tall slim figure of about sixty, bearing on his head one of the peaked
hats of Andalusia and wrapped notwithstanding the excessive heat of the
weather in a long cloak, made his appearance, and having seated himself
requested to be shown one of our books.  Having delivered it to him, he
remained examining it for nearly half an hour without uttering a word.
At last he laid it down with a sigh and said that he should be very happy
to purchase some of these books for his school, but from their
appearance, especially from the quality of the paper and binding, he was
apprehensive that to pay for them would exceed the means of the parents
of his pupils, as they were almost destitute of money, being poor
labourers.  He then commenced blaming the Government, which, he said,
established schools without affording the necessary books, adding that in
his school there were but two books for the use of all his pupils, and
these he confessed contained but little good.  I asked him what he
considered the Testaments were worth.  He said, '_Senor Cavalier_, to
speak frankly I have in other times paid twelve _reals_ for books
inferior to yours in every respect, but I assure you that my poor pupils
would be utterly unable to pay the half of that price.'  I replied, 'I
will sell you as many as you please for three _reals_ each; I am
acquainted with the poverty of the land, and my friends and myself in
affording the people the means of spiritual instruction have no wish to
curtail their scanty bread.'  He replied: '_Benedito seo Dios_' ('blessed
be God'), and could scarcely believe his ears.  He instantly purchased a
dozen, expending therein, as he said, all the money he possessed with the
exception of a few _cuartos_.  The introduction of the reading of the
Word of God into the country schools of Spain is therefore now begun, and
I humbly hope that it will prove one of those events which the Bible
Society after the lapse of years will have most reason to remember with
joy and gratitude to the Almighty.

An old peasant is at present reading in the portico.  Eighty-four years
have passed over his head, and he is almost entirely deaf; nevertheless
he is reading aloud the second [chapter] of Matthew.  Three days since he
bespoke a Testament, but not being able to raise the money he has not
redeemed it until the present moment; he has just brought thirty
farthings.  As I survey the silvery hair which overshadows his sun-burnt
countenance, the words of the song occur to me: 'Lord, now lettest Thou
Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word: for mine eyes have
seen Thy salvation.'

I will now conclude these anecdotes with one not divested of singularity.
Over a branch of the Tagus by the bridge Azeca there is a large
water-mill.  I have formed an acquaintance with the tenant of this mill,
who is known in the neighbourhood by the name of Don Antero.  Two days
ago, taking me into a retired place, he asked me to my great astonishment
if I would sell him a thousand Testaments at the price at which I was
disposing of them to the peasantry, saying that if I would consent he
would pay me immediately; in fact he put his hand into his pocket, and
pulled it out filled with gold ounces.  I asked him what was the reason
for his wish to make so considerable a purchase.  Whereupon he informed
me that he had a relation in Toledo whom he wished to establish, and that
he was of opinion that he could do no better than take a shop there and
furnish it with Testaments.  I told him that he must think of nothing of
the kind, as probably the books would be seized on the first attempt to
introduce them into Toledo, as the priests and canons were much averse to
their distribution.  He was, however, not disconcerted, and said his
relation could travel, as I myself was doing, to dispose of them to the
peasants with profit to himself.  I confess I was disposed at first to
accept his offer, but at length declined it, as I did not wish to expose
a poor man to the risk of losing money, goods, and perhaps liberty and
life.  I was likewise averse to the books being offered to the peasantry
at an advanced price, being aware that they could not afford it; and the
books, by such an attempt would lose a considerable part of that
_prestijio_ (I know no English word to express my meaning) which they now
enjoy.  Their cheapness strikes the minds of the people with wonder, and
they consider it almost as much in the light of a miracle as the Jews
[did the] manna which dropped from heaven at the time they were
famishing, or the spring which suddenly gushed from the flinty rock to
assuage their thirst in the wilderness.

The following is a list of the villages of the Sagra; or champaign
country of Toledo, already supplied with Testaments.

It will perhaps be expedient to print this list in the 'Extracts.'
Vargas                  Mocejon                 Villa Seca
Cobeja                  Villaluenga             Yuncler.
In about a week I shall depart from hence and proceed to another
district, as it would not be prudent to make a long sojourn in any
particular district under existing circumstances.  It is my intention to
cross the country to Aranjuez, and endeavour to supply with the Word the
villages on the frontier of La Mancha.  Write to me as soon as possible,
always directing to my lodgings in Madrid.  I wish to know the lowest
price at which I am at liberty to dispose of Testaments, and conclude
with hoping that what I have narrated will meet the approbation of you


To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                        (_Endorsed_: recd. Aug. 2nd, 1838)
                                            MADRID, No. 16 CALLE SANTIAGO,
                                                          _July_ 23, 1838.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--As, I was about to leave Villa Seca for Aranjuez I
received your letters of the 3rd and 7th inst., on the perusal of which I
instantly returned to Madrid instead of pursuing my intended route.

My answer will be very brief, as I am afraid of giving way to my
feelings; I hope, however, that it will be to the purpose.

It is broadly hinted in yours of the 7th that I have made false
statements in asserting that the Government, in consequence of what has
lately taken place, had come to a resolution of seizing the Bible depots
in various parts of this country.

In reply, I beg leave to inform you that by the first courier you will
receive from the British Legation at Madrid the official notice from
Count Ofalia to Sir George Villiers of the seizures already made, and the
motives which induced the Government to have recourse to such a measure.

The following seizures have already been made, though some have not as
yet been officially announced:

The Society's books at Oviedo, Pontevedra, Salamanca, Santiago, Seville,
and Valladolid.

It appears from your letters that the depots in the south of Spain have
escaped.  I am glad of it, although it be at my own expense.  I see the
hand of the Lord throughout the late transactions.  He is chastening me.
It is His pleasure that the guilty escape and the innocent be punished.
The Government give orders to seize the Bible depots throughout the
country on account of the late scenes at Malaga and Valencia.  I have
never been there, yet only _my_ depots are meddled with, as it appears!
The Lord's will be done, blessed be the name of the Lord!

I will write again to-morrow.  I shall have then arranged my thoughts,
and determined on the conduct which it becomes a Christian to pursue
under these circumstances.  Permit me in conclusion to ask you:

Have you not to a certain extent been partial in this matter?  Have you
not, in the apprehension of being compelled to blame the conduct of one,
who has caused me unutterable anxiety, misery, and persecution, and who
has been the bane of the Bible cause in Spain, refused to receive the
information which it was in your power to command?  I called on the
Committee and yourself, from the first, to apply to Sir George Villiers;
no one is so well versed in what has lately been going on as himself.
But no.  It was God's will that I, who have risked all and lost almost
all in the cause, be taunted, suspected, and the sweat of agony and tears
which I have poured out be estimated at the value of the water of the
ditch or the moisture which exudes from rotten dung.  But I murmur not,
and hope I shall at all times be willing to bow to the dispensations of
the Almighty.

Sir George Villiers has returned to England for a short period; you have
therefore the opportunity of consulting him.  I _will not_ leave Spain
until the whole affair has been thoroughly sifted.  I shall then perhaps
appear and bid you an eternal farewell.

Four hundred Testaments have been disposed of in the Sagra of Toledo.


_P.S._--I am just returned from the Embassy, where I have had a long
interview with that admirable person, Lord Wm. Hervey.  He has requested
me to write him a letter on the point in question, which with the
official documents he intends to send to the Secretary of State in order
to be laid before the Bible Society.  He has put into my hands the last
communication from Ofalia.  It relates to the seizure of _my_ depots at
Malaga, Pontevedra, etc.  I have not opened it, but send it for your

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                      (_Endorsed_: recd.  Aug. 14th, 1838)
                                            No. 16 CALLE SANTIAGO, MADRID,
                                                         _August_ 3, 1838.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--Since writing to you last I have been at some
distance from Madrid.  Indeed my affairs at the time were in such a
condition and so much depended upon my personal superintendence, that I
was obliged to depart almost immediately after dispatching my answers to
your two last.  I am now returned principally on account of a rather
unfortunate accident which occurred on the frontier of La Mancha, the
particulars of which I shall give you presently.  I shall, however, only
tarry sufficient time to rest the horses and again go forth, for I am but
too well aware that no time must now be lost, my enemies being numerous
and watchful.

On leaving Madrid I proceeded in the direction of Aranjuez, selling from
twenty to forty copies in every village that lay in the way or near it;
my intention was to penetrate deep into La Mancha, and in that view I had
forwarded a large supply of books to Aranjuez.  Having arrived there I
made a sojourn of three days, during which time, myself, [my] servant and
Juan Lopez, of whom I have previously spoken to you, visited every house
in the town.  We found a vast deal of poverty and ignorance amongst the
inhabitants, and experienced some opposition; nevertheless it pleased the
Almighty to permit us to dispose of about eighty Testaments, which were
purchased entirely by the very poor people, those in easier circumstances
paying no attention to the Word of God, but rather turning it to scoff
and ridicule.  One circumstance was very gratifying and cheering to me,
namely, the ocular proof which I possessed that the books which I
disposed of were read, and with attention, by those to whom I disposed of
them, and that many others participated in their benefit.  In the streets
of Aranjuez and beneath the mighty cedars and gigantic elms and plantains
which compose its noble woods, I have frequently seen groups assembled,
listening to individuals who, with the New Testament in their hands, were
reading aloud the comfortable words of salvation.

It is probable that had I remained a longer period in Aranjuez I might
have sold many more of our divine books, but I was eager to gain La
Mancha and its sandy plains, and to conceal myself for a season amongst
its solitary villages; for I was apprehensive that a storm was gathering
around me.  But when once through Ocana, the frontier town, I knew well
that I should have nothing to fear from the Spanish authorities as their
power ceased there, the rest of La Mancha being almost entirely in the
hands of the Carlists, and overrun by small parties of banditti, from
whom however I trusted that the Lord would preserve me.  I therefore
departed for Ocana, situate about three leagues from Aranjuez.

I started with my servant about six in the evening, having early in the
morning sent forward Lopez with between two and three hundred Testaments.
We left the high road and proceeded by a shorter way, through wild hills
and over very broken and precipitous ground.  Being well-mounted we found
ourselves just after sunset opposite Ocana, which stands on a steep hill.
A deep valley lay between us and the town; we descended and came to a
small bridge which traverses a rivulet at the bottom of the valley, at a
very small distance from a kind of suburb; we crossed the bridge, and
were passing by a deserted house on our left hand when a man appeared
from under the porch.

What I am about to state will seem incomprehensible to you, but a
singular history and a singular people are connected with it.  The man
placed himself before my horse so as to bar the way, and said _Schophon_,
which in the Hebrew tongue signifies a rabbit.  I knew this word to be
one of the Jewish countersigns, and asked the man if he had anything to
communicate.  He said: 'You must not enter the town, for a net is
prepared for you.  The _Corregidor_ of Toledo, on whom may all evil
light, in order to give pleasure to the priests of Maria, in whose face I
spit, has ordered all the _Alcaldes_ of these parts and the _Escribanos_
and the _Corchetes_ to lay hands on you wherever they may find you, and
to send you and your books and all that pertains to you to Toledo.  Your
servant was seized this morning in the town above as he was selling the
writings in the streets, and they are now awaiting your arrival in the
_posada_; but I knew you from the accounts of my brethren, and have been
waiting here four hours to give you warning, in order that your horse may
turn his tail to your enemies and neigh in derision of them.  Fear
nothing for your servant, for he is known to the _Alcalde_ and will be
set at liberty, but do you flee, and may God attend you.'  Having said
this, he hurried towards the town.

I hesitated not a moment to take his advice, knowing full well that, as
my books had been taken possession of, I could do no more in that
direction.  We turned back, in the direction of Aranjuez, the horses
notwithstanding the nature of the ground galloping at full speed, and
like the true Moorish breed bearing their tails erect and stiff; but our
adventures were not over.  About mid-way, and about half a league from
the small village of Antigola, we saw close to us on our left hand three
men on a low bank.  As far as the darkness would permit us to distinguish
they were naked, but each bore in his hand a long gun; these were
_rateros_, or the common assassins and robbers of the roads.  We halted,
and cried out 'Who goes there?' They, replied, 'What's that to you?  Pass
by.'  Their drift was to fire at us from a position from which it would
be impossible to miss.  We shouted: 'If you do not instantly pass to the
right side of the road, we will tread you down beneath the horses'
hoofs.'  They hesitated, and then obeyed, for all Spanish assassins are
dastards, and the least show of resolution daunts them.  As we galloped
past, one cried with an obscene oath, '_Tiraremos_' ('fire') but another
said, '_No_! _hay peligro_' ['there's danger'].  We reached Aranjuez,
where early next morning Lopez rejoined us, and we returned to Madrid.

I am sorry to state that two hundred Testaments were seized at Ocana,
where they were sealed and despatched to Toledo.  Lopez informed me that
in two hours he could have sold them all, the demand was so great; as it
was, twenty-seven were sold in less than ten minutes.  He is just
departed on another expedition, and I am about to follow, for with God's
leave I will fight it out to the last.

I enclose you a list of all the towns and villages hitherto visited.  I
have nothing more to say for the present, but that you may make what use
you please of this letter.

Such is my life in Spain.


Villa Seca.                         Azana.
Mocejon.                            Ylleicas.
Magan.                              Forrejon.
Oliar.                              Parla.
Vargas.                             Pinto.
Villaluenga.                        Baldemoro.
Yuncler.                            Zetafe.
Alameda.                            Leganez.
Anober.                             Aranjuez.
Cobena.                             Ocana.
To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                        (_Endorsed_: recd. Sept. 12, 1838)
                                            [LABAJOS, PROVINCE OF SEGOVIA,
                                                     _Aug._ 23_rd_, 1838.]

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--Lord William Hervey was perfectly satisfied with my
conduct in the affair stated on the other side, and so was Count Ofalia,
who expressed his regret that circumstances had compelled her Majesty's
Government to take those steps against the circulation of the Scriptures
with which you are already acquainted.

                                                                     G. B.

Copy of Letter to the Right Hon. Lord William Hervey

                                             LABAJOS, PROVINCE OF SEGOVIA,
                                                      _August_ 23rd, 1838.

MY LORD,--I beg leave to call your attention to the following facts.  On
the 21st instant I received information that a person in my employ of the
name of Juan Lopez had been thrown into the prison of Villallos, in the
province of Avila, by order of the _Cura_ of that place.  The crime with
which he was charged was selling the New Testament.  At the time I
alluded to, I was at Labajos, in the province of Segovia, and the
division of the factious chieftain Balmaseda was in the immediate
neighbourhood.  On the 22nd, I mounted my horse and rode to Villallos, a
distance of three leagues.  On my arrival there, I found that Lopez had
been removed from the prison to a private house.  An order had arrived
from the _Corregidor_ of Avila, commanding that the person of Lopez
should be placed in full and perfect liberty and that the books which had
been found in his possession should be alone detained.  Nevertheless, in
direct opposition to this order, a copy of which I herewith transmit, the
_Alcalde_ of Villallos, at the instigation of the _Cura_, refused to
permit the said Lopez to quit the place, either to proceed to Avila or in
any other direction.  It had been hinted to Lopez that, as the factious
were expected, it was intended on their arrival to denounce him to them
as a liberal, and to cause him to be sacrificed.  Taking these
circumstances into consideration, I deemed it my duty, as a Christian and
a gentleman, to rescue my unfortunate servant from such lawless bands,
and in consequence defying opposition I bore him off, though perfectly
unarmed, through a crowd of at least one hundred peasants.  On leaving
the place I shouted '_Viva Isabela Segunda_.'

As it is my belief that the _Cura_ of Villallos is a person capable of
any infamy, I beg leave humbly to entreat your Lordship to cause a copy
of the above narration to be forwarded to the Spanish Government.

I have the honour to remain, my Lord, your Lordship's most obedient and
most humble servant,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. G. Browne

                                       (_Endorsed_: recd. Sept. 6th, 1838)
                                                  MADRID, _Aug._ 29, 1838.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I am this moment arrived at Madrid from my
expedition in Old Castile, and I have received your kind lines appended
to my friend Mr. Brandram's communication.

I will set out for England as soon as possible; but I must be allowed
time.  I am almost dead with fatigue, suffering and anxiety; and it is
necessary that I should place the Society's property in safe and sure

It has pleased the Lord to assist me visibly in my last journey.  In the
midst of a thousand perils I have disposed of nine hundred Testaments
amongst the peasantry on the north side of the precipitous hills of the
Guadarama range, and all in the space of three weeks.  In a day or two I
shall write to Mr. Brandram with particulars.

Pray excuse these hasty lines; present my kindest remembrances to Mrs.
Browne, and believe me, Revd. and dear Sir,

Gratefully and truly yours,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                        (_Endorsed_: recd. Sept. 10, 1838)
                                                  MADRID, _Sept._ 1, 1838.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--From my letter to the Revd. Geo. Browne of the 28
ult. you are already doubtless aware of my arrival at Madrid from my
expedition in Old Castile.  I now proceed to detail to you a few
occurrences, premising that my notices will necessarily be brief, as I am
considerably indisposed, and am moreover much occupied in making
preparations for my departure for England, and in arranging the affairs
of the Society in Spain in as satisfactory a manner as circumstances will

I set out for my journey on the 4th of last month on horseback and
accompanied by my servant.  The first day brought us to La Granja, a
distance of twelve leagues from Madrid, where I expected to find Lopez
and another man whom I had sent before.  Nothing particular occurred
during this day's journey, except that notwithstanding my haste I sold
some Testaments in the villages near the roadside and that it pleased God
to permit us to traverse the pass of Pena Cerrada without coming in
contact with the banditti that haunt the gloomy pine forests which
embower it and extend for leagues in every direction.  Arrived at La
Granja, I could hear nothing of Lopez nor of the other individual, and in
consequence after a stay of a day which was necessary to refresh the
horses, I departed for Segovia.  I did not attempt to distribute the Word
at La Granja, being well aware that orders had been transmitted to the
authorities of the place to seize all copies of the sacred writings which
might be offered for sale.  I may say the same with respect to Segovia,
where still none of my people made their appearance.  At Segovia I
received from a friend a chest containing two hundred Testaments, and
almost immediately after, by the greatest chance in the world, I heard
from a peasant that there were men in the neighbourhood of Abades selling
books.  Abades is about three leagues distant from Segovia, and upon
receiving this intelligence I instantly departed for the former place,
with three _burricos_ [asses] laden with Testaments.

I reached Abades at nightfall, and found Lopez in the house of the
surgeon of the place, where I also took up my residence.  He had already
disposed of a considerable number of Testaments in the neighbourhood, and
had that day commenced selling at Abades itself.  He had, however, been
interrupted by two of three _Curas_ of the village, who with horrid
curses denounced the work, threatening eternal condemnation to Lopez for
selling it and to any person who should purchase it; whereupon Lopez,
terrified, forebore until I should arrive.  The third _Cura_, however,
exerted himself to the utmost to persuade the people to provide
themselves with Testaments, telling them that his brethren were
hypocrites and false guides, who by keeping them in ignorance of the word
and will of Christ were leading them to the abyss.  Upon receiving this
information, I instantly sallied forth to the marketplace, and that same
night succeeded in disposing of upwards of thirty Testaments.  The next
morning the house was entered by the two factious _Curas_; but upon my
rising to confront them they retreated, and I heard no more of them,
except that they publicly cursed me in the church more than once, an
event which as no ill resulted from it gave me little concern.

I will not detail the events of the next week; suffice it to say that
arranging my forces in the most advantageous way I succeeded by God's
assistance in disposing of in that period from five to six hundred
Testaments amongst the villages from one to seven leagues distance from
Abades.  At the expiration of that period I received information from
Segovia, in which province Abades is situated, to the effect that my
proceedings were known in Segovia, and that an order was about to be sent
to the _Alcalde_ of Abades to seize all books in my possession.
Whereupon, notwithstanding that it was late in the evening, I decamped
with all my people and upwards of three hundred Testaments, having a few
hours previously received a fresh supply from Madrid.  That night we
passed in the fields and next morning proceeded to Labajos, a village on
the high road from Madrid to Valladolid.  In this place we offered no
books for sale, but contented ourselves with supplying the neighbouring
villages with the Word of God; we likewise sold it in the highways.  We
had not been at Labajos a week, during which time we were remarkably
successful, when the Carlist chieftain Balmaseda at the head of his wild
cavalry made his desperate inroad into the southern part of Old Castile,
dashing down like an avalanche from the pine woods of Soria.  I was
present at all the horrors which ensued--the sack of Arrevalo--and the
forcible entry into Martin Munoz and San Cyrian.  Amidst these terrible
scenes, we continued our labours undaunted, with the exception of my
servant, who seized with uncontrollable fear ran away to Madrid.  I now
lost Lopez for three or four days, and suffered dreadful anxiety on his
account, apprehending that he had been shot by the Carlists.  At last I
heard that he was in prison at Villallos, at the distance of three
leagues.  The steps which I took to rescue him you will find detailed in
the communication which I deemed it my duty to transmit to Lord Wm.
Hervey at Madrid, a copy of which, together with the letter of Lopez
which informed me of his situation, I transmit herewith.  After the
rescue of Lopez, I thought it advisable to return to Madrid, more
especially as my stock of Testaments was exhausted, we having in the
course of little more than a fortnight disposed of nearly nine hundred
Testaments--not in populous and wealthy towns but in highways and
villages, not to the spurious Spaniards of Madrid and the coasts, but to
the sun-blackened peasantry of Old Castile, the genuine descendants of
those terrible men who subjugated Mexico and Peru.

My men returned by Pena Cerrada, whilst I, encumbered by two horses,
crossed the Guadarama.  I nearly perished there, having lost my way in
the darkness and tumbled down a precipice.  But I am now in Madrid and,
if not well, trusting in the Lord and defying Satan.  I shall probably be
in England within three weeks.

I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, truly yours,

                                                                     G. B.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                        (_Endorsed_: recd. Sept. 28, 1838)
                                                  MADRID, 19 _Sepr._ 1838,
                                                    No. 16 CALLE SANTIAGO.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I write this to inform you that for the last ten
days I have been confined to my bed by a fever.  I am now better, and
hope in a few days to be able to proceed to Saragossa, which is the only
road open.

I bore up against my illness as long as I could, but it became too
powerful for me.  By good fortune I obtained a decent physician, a Dr.
Hacayo, who had studied medicine in England, and aided by him and the
strength of my constitution I got the better of my attack, which however
was a dreadfully severe one.

I hope my next letter will be from Bordeaux.  I cannot write more at
present, for I am very feeble.

I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, truly yours,

                                                                G. BORROW.

Account of Proceedings in the Peninsula


I beg leave to call your attention to the following statements.  They
relate to my proceedings during the period which embraces my second
sojourn in Spain--to my labours in a literary point of view--to my
travels in a very remarkable country, the motive in which they originated
and the result to which they led--to my success in the distribution of
the Scripture, and to the opposition and encouragement which I have
experienced.  As my chief objects are brevity and distinctness I shall at
once enter upon my subject, abstaining from reflections of every kind,
which in most cases only tend to embarrass, being anxious to communicate
facts alone, with most of which, it is true, you are already tolerably
well acquainted, but upon all and every of which I am eager to be
carefully and categorically questioned.  It is neither my wish nor my
interest to conceal one particular of what I have been doing.  And with
these few prefatory observations I commence.

In the first place, my literary labours.  Having on my former visit to
Spain obtained from the then Prime Minister Isturitz and his Cabinet
permission and encouragement for the undertaking, I published on my
return an edition of the New Testament at Madrid, a copy of which I now
present to you for the first time.  This work, executed at the office of
Borrego, the most fashionable printer at Madrid, who had been recommended
to me by Isturitz himself and most particularly by my excellent friend
Mr. O'Shea, is a publication which I conceive no member of the Committee
will consider as calculated to cast discredit on the Bible Society, it
being printed on excellent English paper and well bound, but principally
and above all from the fact of its exhibiting scarcely one typographical
error, every proof having been read thrice by myself and once or more
times by the first scholar in Spain.

I subsequently published the Gospel of Saint Luke in the Rommany and
Biscayan languages.  With respect to the first, I beg leave to observe
that no work printed in Spain ever caused so great and so general a
sensation, not so much amongst the Gypsies, that peculiar people, for
whom it was intended, as amongst the Spaniards themselves, who, though
they look upon the Roma with some degree of contempt as a low and
thievish race of outcasts, nevertheless take a strange interest in all
that concerns them, it having been from time immemorial their practice,
more especially of the dissolute young nobility, to cultivate the
acquaintance of the Gitanos as they are popularly called, probably
attracted by the wild wit of the latter and the lascivious dances of the
females.  The apparition therefore of the Gospel of Saint Luke at Madrid
in the peculiar jargon of these people was hailed as a strange novelty
and almost as a wonder, and I believe was particularly instrumental in
bruiting the name of the Bible Society far and wide through Spain, and in
creating a feeling far from inimical towards it and its proceedings.  I
will here take the liberty to relate an anecdote illustrative of the
estimation in which this little work was held at Madrid.  The Committee
are already aware that a seizure was made of many copies of Saint Luke in
the Rommany and Biscayan languages, in the establishment at which they
were exposed for sale, which copies were deposited in the office of the
Civil Governor.  Shortly before my departure a royal edict was published,
authorising all the public libraries to provide themselves with copies of
the said works on account of their philological merit; whereupon, on
application being made to the office, it was discovered that the copies
of the Gospel in Basque were safe and forthcoming, whilst every one of
the sequestered copies of the Gitano Gospel had been plundered by hands
unknown.  The consequence was that I was myself applied to by then agents
of the public libraries of Valencia and other places, who paid me the
price of the copies which they received, assuring me at the same time
that they were authorised to purchase them at whatever price which might
be demanded.

Respecting the Gospel in Basque I have less to say.  It was originally
translated into the dialect of Guipuscoa by Dr. Oteiza, and subsequently
received corrections and alterations from myself.  It can scarcely be
said to have been published, it having been prohibited and copies of it
seized on the second day of its appearance.  But it is in my power to
state that it is anxiously expected in the Basque provinces, where books
in the aboriginal tongue are both scarce and dear, and that several
applications have been made at San Sebastian and in other towns where
Basque is the predominating language.

I now proceed to the subject of my travels in Spain.  Before undertaking
them I was little acquainted with the genius of the Spanish people in
general, having resided almost entirely in Madrid, and I was fully
convinced that it was not from the inhabitants of one city that an
accurate judgment could be formed of a population of nine millions,
thinly scattered over a vast country so divided and intersected by
mountain barriers as is the Peninsula.  With this population under all
its various circumstances and under all its various phases, the result of
descent from a variety of foreign nations, I was anxious to make myself
acquainted; for I reflected that he who builds a city on ground which he
has not fully examined will perhaps discover when too late that his
foundation is in a swamp, and that the whole of his labour is momentarily
in danger of being swallowed up.  I therefore went forth not so much for
the purpose of distributing the Scriptures as to make myself acquainted
with the prefatory steps requisite to be taken in order to secure my
grand object.  Before departing from Madrid I consulted with the many
friends, some of them highly distinguished, which I had the honour to
possess in that capital.  Their unanimous advice, whether Catholics or
Protestants, was that for the present I should proceed with the utmost
caution, but without concealing the object of my mission which I
considered to be the simple propagation of the Scripture--that I should
avoid with diligence the giving offence to the prejudices of the people,
especially in the rural districts, and endeavour everywhere to keep on
good terms with the clergy, at least one-third of whom are known to be
anxious for the dissemination of the Word of God though at the same time
unwilling to separate themselves from the discipline and ceremonials of
Rome.  I bore this advice in mind, which indeed perfectly tallied with my
own ideas, and throughout the two thousand miles of my peregrination
during the summer of last year, I performed much if not all of what I
proposed, and am not aware that in one single instance my proceedings
were such as could possibly merit reproof.  I established depots in all
the principal towns of the north of Spain, and in all gave notice to the
public of the arrival of the New Testament in a mild yet expressive
advertisement which I here exhibit, and which I beg leave to state is the
only advertisement which I ever made use of.  The consequence was that
the work enjoyed a reasonable sale, and I experienced no
opposition--except in the case of Leon, a town remarkable for its
ultra-Carlism--but on the contrary much encouragement especially on the
part of the ecclesiastics.  I visited Salamanca and Valladolid the chief
seats of Castilian learning, I visited Saint James of Compostella, the
temple of the great image of the Patron of Spain, and in none of these
cities was a single voice raised against the Bible Society or its Agent.
But I did not confine myself to the towns, but visited the small and
large villages, and by this means became acquainted with both citizens
and rustics; amongst the former I found little desire for sober serious
reading, but on the contrary a rage for stimulant narratives, and amongst
too many a lust for the deistical writings of the French, especially for
those of Talleyrand, which have been translated into Spanish and
published by the press of Barcelona, and for which I was frequently
pestered.  I several times enquired of the book-sellers of the various
towns which I visited as to the means to be used towards introducing the
Scripture amongst the villagers; but to this question they invariably
replied that, unless the villagers came to the towns and purchased the
work, they saw no means of making it known amongst them, unless I made
friends in the villages in whose hands I could deposit copies for sale,
though in such a case the difficulty of recovering the money would be
immense.  I therefore at last resolved to make an experiment, the result
of which fully corresponded with an opinion which I had for some time
formed--namely, that in the villages, sequestered and apart amongst the
mountains and in the sandy plains of Spain, I might at any time be sure
of a glorious harvest, far more rich than that which it was possible for
me to expect in towns and cities, unless I had recourse to means
unwarranted, nay forbidden, by the Book which I distributed, and which
means had been proscribed by the Society itself on my departure for
Spain.  But now to proceed at once to the experiment, which I made at
different periods and in different provinces.

I twice sallied forth one morning alone and on horseback, and proceeded
to a distant village, bearing behind me a satchel of books.  On my
arrival, which took place just after the _siesta_ or afternoon's sleep
had concluded, I proceeded in both instances to the market-place, where I
spread a horse-cloth on the ground, on which I deposited my books.  I
then commenced crying with a loud voice: 'Peasants, peasants, I bring you
the Word of God at a cheap price.  I know you have but little money, but
I bring it to you at whatever you can command, at four or three _reals_
according to your means.'  I thus went on till a crowd gathered round me,
who examined the book with attention, many of them reading it aloud.  But
I had not long to tarry; in both instances I disposed of my cargo almost
instantaneously, and then mounted my horse without a question having been
asked me, and returned to my temporary residence lighter than I left it.
This occurred in Castile and Galicia, near the towns of Santiago and

The above are incidents which I have hitherto kept within the privacy of
my own bosom and which I have confided to none; they were but
experiments, which at that time I had no wish to repeat, nor to be
requested so to do.  I was perfectly aware that such a line of conduct,
if followed before the proper time, would give offence to the clergy, not
only to the Carlist but the liberal clergy, and likewise to the
Government; and it formed no part of my plan to be on ill terms with
either.  For I remembered that I was a stranger and a labourer on
sufferance in Christ's cause in a half-barbaric land, on which the light
of freedom and true religion was just beginning to dawn, and I was
unwilling by over-precipitance and for the sake of a mere temporary
triumph to forego the solid and lasting advantages which I foresaw, and
had been told that patience and prudence would assure.  I resolved to use
the knowledge which I had obtained by these experiments only as a last
resource, provided any accident which it was impossible for me then to
foresee should overturn all the plans which my friends and myself had
been forming for the quiet and peaceful introduction of the Scriptures
amongst the Spaniards with the consent or at least with the connivance of
the Government and clergy, knowing well that a great part of the latter
were by no means disposed to offer any serious opposition to such a
measure, they having sense and talent enough to perceive that the old
system can no longer be upheld of which the essential part is, as is well
known, to keep the people in ignorance of the great sterling truths of
Christianity.  I now come to the most distressing part of my narrative
and likewise to the most miserable of my own life.

I returned to Madrid from my long, fatiguing and most perilous journey,
in which I must be permitted to say that independent of a thousand
miraculous escapes from the factious and the banditti I had been twice
arrested as a spy, namely, once at Vigo and subsequently at Cape
Finisterre, in which latter instance I narrowly escaped with life, the
ignorant fishermen having determined upon shooting me and my guide.  Upon
finding the booksellers of Madrid, with the exception of Razola, a man of
no importance, averse to undertake the sale of the New Testament I
determined upon establishing a shop of my own, a step to which I was
advised by many sincere friends of the Cause and of myself.  Having
accomplished this, I advertised the work incessantly, not only in the
public prints but by placards posted in all the streets of the city; but
I wish it to be distinctly understood that the advertisement which I used
was the same quiet innocent advertisement, a copy of which you possess,
and of which I have availed myself in the provinces, an advertisement
which had never given offence nor was calculated to give offence if
squandered about the streets by millions.  I make this statement in
self-justification, I having, in consequence of a letter in which I made
some observations respecting advertisements and handbills, received a
paragraph in a communication from home, in which I was checked with
having made a plentiful use of advertisements and handbills myself.  It
would have been as well if my respected and revered friend the writer had
made himself acquainted with the character of my advertisements before he
made that observation.  There is no harm in an advertisement, if truth,
decency and the fear of God are observed; and I believe my own will be
scarcely found deficient in any of these three requisites.  It is not the
use of a serviceable instrument, but its abuse that merits reproof, and I
cannot conceive that advertising was abused by me when I informed the
people of Madrid, that the New Testament was to be purchased at a cheap
price in the _Calle del Principe_.

I had scarcely opened my establishment at Madrid when I began to hear
rumours of certain transactions at Valencia, said to be encouraged by the
British and Foreign Bible Society.  As these transactions, as they were
reported, were in the highest degree absurd and improper, and as I was
convinced that the Bible Society would sanction nothing of the kind, I
placed little or no credit in them, and put them down to the account of
Jesuitical malignity.  In less than a fortnight appeared in the
newspapers what I conceived to be a gross and uncalled-for attack upon
the Bible Society, appended to a pastoral of the Bishop of Valencia, in
which he forbade the sale of the Bible throughout his diocese.  The
Committee are acquainted with my answer to that epistle; they are well
aware with what zeal and fervour I spoke against the spirit of Popery,
and defended the Society and their cause as far as my feeble talents
would permit.  Yet I here confess that the said answer was penned, if not
in perfect ignorance of what had been transacted in Valencia, at least in
almost utter disbelief; for had it been my fortune at the time to have
been as well informed as I have subsequently been, so far from publishing
the answer in question I would at once have publicly disclaimed, as I
afterwards did, any participation or sympathy in transactions which were
not only calculated to bring the Bible cause into odium, but the Bible
Society into difficulties, into discredit, and worst of all, into
contempt.  A helpless widow was insulted, her liberty of conscience
invaded, and her only son incited to rebellion against her.  A lunatic
was employed as the _repartidor_ or distributor of the blessed Bible, who
having his head crammed with what he understood not, ran through the
streets of Valencia crying aloud that Christ was nigh at hand and would
appear in a short time; whilst advertisements to much the same effect
were busily circulated in which the name, the noble name, of the Bible
Society was prostituted; whilst the Bible exposed for sale in an
apartment of a public house served for little more than a decoy to the
idle and curious, who were there treated with incoherent railings against
the Church of Rome and Babylon, in a dialect which it was well for the
deliverer that only a few of the audience understood.  But I fly from
these details, and will now repeat the consequences of the above
proceedings to myself; for I, I, and only I, as every respectable person
in Madrid can vouch, have paid the penalty for them all, though as
innocent as the babe who has not yet seen the light.

I had much difficulty at Madrid, principally on account of the state of
political matters which absorbed the minds of all, in bringing the New
Testament into notice.  However by dint of perseverance I contrived to
direct the public curiosity towards it, indeed I was beginning to average
a sale of twenty copies daily, when the shop was suddenly closed by order
of the Government in consequence of the complaints from Valencia, myself
being supposed to be the instigator and director of the scenes in that
place already narrated.  For the next four months I carried on
negotiations with the Government through the medium of Sir George
Villiers, who from my first arrival in the Peninsula, had most generously
befriended me.  But in his endeavours to forward my views he found
exceeding difficulties.  The clergy were by this time, both Carlist and
liberal, thoroughly incensed against me, and indeed with much apparent
reason; the former denounced me to the populace as a sorcerer and a
heretic, and the latter spoke of me as an accomplished hypocrite.  I was
at last flung into prison--into the pestilential _Carcel de la Corte_,
where my faithful servant Francisco caught the gaol-fever, of which he
subsequently died.  But in this instance my enemies committed a very
imprudent act, an act which had very nearly produced the result for which
I had been so long unsuccessfully negotiating.  My protector, Sir George
Villiers, informed the Spanish Prime Minister, Ofalia, that unless full
satisfaction was offered me, he should deem it his duty to cease any
further transactions with the Spanish Government, and to order all the
British land and sea-forces, co-operating with those of the Queen to
terminate the rebellion, to desist from further operations.

I was about to obtain all I wished, when at the critical moment the news
of the scenes at Malaga arrived at Madrid, and Sir George had little more
to say than that Satan seemed to mingle in this game.  Nevertheless I
left prison, with the understanding that the Government would connive at
the circulation of the Scriptures in a quiet manner, not calculated to
produce disturbances nor to give scandal to the clergy.

But speedily followed the affair of the sectarian tracts of Carthagena,
which tracts were sworn to as having been left there by agents of the
Bible Society; and I instantly knew that I had nothing more to expect
from the Government.  But some time previous I had formed an unalterable
resolution that, come what might, I would no longer bear the odium of
actions, which in whatever motive they originated had already subjected
me to unheard-of persecution, loathsome imprisonment, loss of friends,
and to the grief of seeing prudent and long-brooded plans baffled and
brought to nought, and the Society to which I belonged subjected to
opprobrium as I believed undeserved; and I therefore published in the
journals of Madrid an advertisement, in which I disowned, in my own name
and that of the Society, any sympathy with the actor or actors in those
transactions, which had given so much cause of offence to the
authorities, civil and ecclesiastic, of Spain.

My principal reason for taking this step originated from my having become
personally acquainted with the ex-priest Pascual Marin, who arrived at
Madrid the very day in which I was committed to prison.  His narrative
served to confirm all the rumours which I had previously heard.  The
Committee are fully aware with what unwillingness I formed the
acquaintance of that man, who was sent up to me in order that I might
provide for him, without my consent being obtained or even demanded; but
I now rejoice in the circumstance, without which I might still have been
playing the odious, disgraceful, and heart-breaking part which I had
supported so long.  But by the decided step which I now took, the burden
of obloquy fell at once from my shoulders, as the bundle of sin from the
back of Christian, and rolling into a deep pit was seen no more.

That advertisement gave infinite satisfaction to the liberal clergy.  I
was complimented for it by the Primate of Spain, who said I had redeemed
my credit and that of the Society; and it is with some feeling of pride
that I state that it choked and prevented the publication of a series of
terrible essays against the Bible Society, which were intended for the
official Gazette, and which were written by the Licentiate Albert Lister,
the editor of that journal, the friend of Blanco White, and the most
talented man in Spain.  These essays still exist in the editorial drawer,
and were communicated to me by the head manager of the royal printing
office, my respected friend and countryman Mr. Charles Wood, whose
evidence in this matter and in many others I can command at pleasure.  In
lieu of which essays came out a mild and conciliatory article by the same
writer, which, taking into consideration the country in which it was
written and its peculiar circumstances, was an encouragement to the Bible
Society to proceed, although with secrecy and caution.  Yet this article,
sadly misunderstood in England, gave rise to communications from home
highly mortifying to myself and ruinous to the Bible cause.

In the meantime my depots had been seized in various parts of Spain,
depots the greatest part of which I had established with immense
difficulty and peril, some of them being in the remote and almost
inaccessible province of Galicia, at the distance of almost four hundred
miles from Madrid.  I now deemed that the time was at hand to avail
myself of my resource, and to sell at all risks the Testament amongst the
peasantry of Spain, by whom I knew that it would be received with
transport and with gratitude.  I determined to commence with the Sagra of
Toledo, where resided an honest labourer of my acquaintance; my foot was
in the stirrup when I received a letter from home, which I can only
consider as having originated with the Enemy of mankind for the purpose
of perplexing my already harassed and agitated mind.  In this letter I
was told, amongst other matter which I need not repeat, to prepare to
quit Spain.  But by the shaft I knew the quiver from which it came, and,
merely exclaiming, 'Satan, I defy thee,' I hurried to Sagra, and disposed
of amongst the peasantry in one fortnight four hundred copies of the New
Testament.  But it is hard to wrestle with the great Enemy; another shaft
arrived in the shape of a letter, which compelled me to return to Madrid,
whilst the cause of God was beckoning me to Aranjuez and La Mancha, to
which places I indeed hurried as soon as I had arranged matters at

Without losing time or being dispirited by the events of the last
journey, I repaired to Old Castile; here my success was almost
miraculous, nine hundred copies of the Holy Book being sold in less than
three weeks, but not in peace and tranquillity, as the province became
suddenly a scene of horrors which I shall not attempt to describe.  It
was not the war of men, or even of cannibals, which I witnessed; it
seemed a contest of fiends from the infernal pit.  But God guided me safe
and unharmed through this 'valley of the shadow,' and permitted me to
regain Madrid; where, upon finding myself formally recalled, I deposited
the Society's property in as safe a place as I could find, and was about
to return home when a fever which had been long lurking in my blood at
last prostrated me, confining me to my bed for many days, at the
expiration of which, though very unfit for travel, I departed for
England, where at last by God's will I am arrived in safety.

Before concluding, I have a communication to make, the importance of
which few, I believe, will be tempted to deny.

I have at various times stated that the Bible Cause had many and powerful
friends in Spain, though my statements up to the present moment seem to
have been hailed with little attention.  I remember in one particular
letter recommending prudence, patience, and co-operation with the liberal
clergy, who were sincerely disposed to help us on, provided that by
intemperateness of conduct we gave them no reasonable ground for offence.
There is now a society formed at Madrid, determined upon making the Word
of God, without note or comment, known amongst the children of Spain.
The laws concerning the publishing the Scripture have been diligently and
minutely examined, and it has been discovered that by none of the laws of
Spain, ancient or modern, whether made by Cortes or by kings, is the
publication of the Scripture, in the whole or in parts, with or without
comment, forbidden--but merely and solely by particular Bulls of various
Bishops of Rome, which Bulls though respected by many of the Spaniards
form no part of the law of Spain.  Provided resistance be offered to the
undertaking either by the Government or any portion of the ecclesiastics,
it has been determined to bring the matter before the Cortes, from whom a
favourable decision may be expected with certainty.  An individual has
been selected as the ostensible manager of this great and glorious
undertaking, this individual is Mr. C. Wood, whom I have already had
occasion to mention, though it is in my power to state that but for the
manner in which the name of the Bible Society has on various occasions
been brought before the public, and almost invariably to its
disadvantage, myself its well-known Agent, would have been the person
selected.  If it be here asked who are the respectable and influential
persons who are at the head of this undertaking and who patronise it, I
reply the Archbishop of Toledo, the Primate of Spain, and the Bishops of
Vich and Jaen.

Now merely one word in conclusion.  I have related facts, and to attempt
to contravene them would be as futile as to endeavour to breast the
billows of the Atlantic.  For the fact that I have throughout my
residence in Spain conducted myself as becomes a gentleman, a Christian
and an Agent of a Christian Society, I can at all times command the
evidence of Sir George Villiers.  For the fact that no act of mine has
given offence to the Spanish Government, or was calculated to do so, I
can, if required, produce a communication from Count Ofalia, who has in
writing expressed to Sir George Villiers his full reliance in my prudence
and good faith.  For the fact that the establishment at Madrid was
closed, not in consequence of my own imprudence, but on account of
certain proceedings at Valencia, I can receive, if I need it, a
testimonial from Count Ofalia.  For the fact that proceedings of a highly
objectionable nature were transacted in the south of Spain, I have the
affidavit of the unhappy ex-priest Pascual Marin, who can likewise
afford, when called upon, information on various points.  For the fact
that my depots in various provinces of Spain were seized in consequence
of doings with which I had no connexion, I can cite official
correspondence.  For the fact that my advertisement, in which I disowned
in the name of the Society and in my own any sympathy with the scenes
alluded to, was productive of infinite benefit to the Cause, I can at any
time produce incontestable evidence.  And lastly, for my zeal in the
Bible Cause, whilst employed in the Peninsula, I can have the evidence
not only of some of the most illustrious characters resident in Madrid,
but likewise that of the greatest part of Spain, throughout which I
believe my name is better known than in my native village in East Anglia.

Mr. G. Borrow's Report on Past and Future Operations in Spain
(_Endorsed_: recd. Nov. 28, 1838)

                                                     LONDON, _Novr._ 1838.

Having been requested to commit to paper my opinion respecting the mode
most advisable to be adopted for the propagation of the Word of God in
Spain, provided the Committee of the Bible Society should consider it
their duty to resume operations in that country, I shall as briefly as
possible communicate the results of an experience which three years'
residence has enabled me to acquire.  The Committee are already aware
that I have traversed the greatest part of Spain in all directions, and
have lived for a considerable time in Madrid and other large towns.  I
have therefore had opportunities of forming a tolerably accurate idea as
to the mode of thinking upon religious subjects of the Spaniards, whether
of town or country, and of their character in general.  I need not enter
into a repetition of my labours during my last sojourn in Spain.  It is
well known that, after printing the New Testament at Madrid, I
endeavoured to distribute it in the principal towns, and also in the
rural districts.  Particular circumstances prevented my experiencing in
the former the success which I had hoped for, and with some reason, at
the commencement of my Biblical labours; and indeed I did not find the
minds of the inhabitants of the great cities which I visited so well
disposed as I could have wished, for receiving and relishing the
important but simple truths of the Bible.  I cannot say that a spirit of
fanatic bigotry was observable amongst them, except in a very few
instances, but rather of lamentable indifference; their minds being
either too much engrossed by the politics of the period to receive the
doctrine of the Bible, or averse to it owing to the poison of infidelity
imbibed from the deistical writings of the French.  My success among the
peasants was however very different, nearly two thousand copies having
been disposed of in an extraordinarily short space of time, and under
much disadvantage owing to the peculiarly unhappy situation of those
parts which it was my fortune to visit.  I will now, without further
preamble, state the line of conduct which I should wish to see pursued in
Spain under existing circumstances.

As the minds of the inhabitants of the cities, from the causes above
stated, do not appear to be exactly prepared for the reception of the
Scripture, it seems most expedient for some time to come to offer it
principally to the peasantry, by the greater part of whom there is so
much ground for believing that it will be received with gratitude and
joy.  True it is that the Spanish peasantry are in general not so well
educated as their brethren of the cities, their opportunities of
acquiring a knowledge of letters having always been inferior;
nevertheless it would be difficult to enter a cottage of which at least
one of the inmates could not read, more or less.  They are moreover a
serious people, and any book upon religious subjects is far more certain
of captivating their attention than one of a lighter character, and,
above all, their minds have hitherto never been tainted by those unhappy
notions of infidelity too prevalent amongst the other class.  There is
one feature which I wish to mention here, which is indeed common to the
Spanish people in general but more particularly to the peasantry, namely,
that whenever a book is purchased, whether good or bad, the purchaser
entertains a firm intention of reading it, which he almost invariably
puts into execution.  I do not make this observation merely upon
hearsay--though I have frequently heard it from quarters which I am bound
to respect--many examples tending to substantiate the fact having come
under my own knowledge.  It is at least a great consolation to the
distributor of the Word of God in Spain, that the seed which he casts
around him is in general received by the earth beneath the surface, from
which he is induced to trust that it will some day spring up and produce
good fruit.

I now beg leave to repeat from a previous communication the manner in
which I made my first attempt to distribute the Scriptures amongst the
peasantry.  I must here remind the Committee that until [I] myself solved
the problem of the possibility, no idea had been entertained of
introducing the Bible in the rural districts of countries exclusively
Papist.  This remark, which I make with the utmost humility, merely
springs from an idea that a similar attempt, if made with boldness and
decision, might prove equally successful in Italy, Mexico, and many other
countries, even pagan, which have not yet been penetrated, particularly
China and Grand Tartary, on the shores of which the Bible labours under
great disadvantage and odium from being put into the hands of the natives
by people seemingly in connection with those for whom it is impossible
they can entertain much respect, as they are well known to contribute
largely towards the corruption of the public morals.  But I now return to
my subject, and proceed at once to the experiment which I made at
different periods and in different provinces.

I twice sallied forth alone and on horseback, and bent my course to a
distant village.  On my arrival, which took place just after the _siesta_
or afternoon's nap had concluded, I proceeded in both instances to the
market-place, where I spread a horse-cloth on the ground, upon which I
deposited my books.  I then commenced crying with a loud voice:
'Peasants, peasants, I bring you the Word of God at a cheap price.  I
know you have but little money, but I bring it you at whatever you can
command, at four or three _reals_, according to your means.'  I thus went
on till a crowd gathered round me, who examined the books with attention,
many of them reading aloud, but I had not long to wait.  In both
instances my cargo was disposed of almost instantaneously, and I mounted
my horse without a question being asked me, and returned to my temporary
abode lighter than I came.  These instances occurred in Castile and
Galicia, near the towns of Santiago and Valladolid.

It is the firm conviction of the writer from subsequent experience that
every village in Spain will purchase Testaments, from twenty to sixty,
according to its circumstances.  During the last two months of his
sojourn in Spain he visited about forty villages, and in only two
instances was his sale less than thirty copies in each.  The two villages
which he alludes to were Mocejon in the Sagra of Toledo, and Torre
Lodones about four leagues from Madrid in the road which leads to the
Guadarama hills.  The last village is indeed a mere wretched assemblage
of huts, the inhabitants of which labour under the most squalid poverty,
owing to the extreme niggardness of the neighbouring soil, which consists
almost entirely of rock from which scarcely anything can be gathered, so
that the people are proverbially thieves.  Only three copies of the
sacred volume were purchased in this unhappy place, and only nine in the
comparatively rich village of Mocejon--which, it is true, was visited on
the day of a festival, when the inhabitants were too much occupied with
dancing and other amusements to entertain any serious thoughts.

There are at the present moment about two thousand copies of the New
Testament in Madrid.  It appears to the writer that it would be most
expedient to distribute one-half of these books in La Mancha, commencing
from the town of Ocana, and concluding with Argamasilla at the other end
of the province; the remaining thousand might be devoted to the many
villages on the road towards Arragon, especially to those of Alcarria
where the people are honest, mild and serious.  The writer would by no
means advise for the present an attempt to distribute the entire Bible
amongst the peasantry, as he is of opinion that the New Testament is much
better adapted to their understandings and circumstances.  If it be
objected to the plan which he has presumed to suggest that it is
impossible to convey to the rural districts of Spain the book of life
without much difficulty and danger, he begs leave to observe that it does
not become a real Christian to be daunted by either when it pleases his
Maker to select him as an instrument; and that moreover if it be not
written that a man is to perish by wild beast or reptiles, he is as safe
in the den even of the cockatrice as in the most retired chamber of the
king's palace; and that if on the contrary he be doomed to perish by
them, his destiny will overtake him notwithstanding all the precautions
which he, like a blind worm, may essay for his security.

In conclusion the writer begs leave to remind the Committee that a
society of liberal Spanish ecclesiastics is being formed for printing and
circulating the Scripture without note or comment.  He does not advise
the entering into an intimate alliance and co-operation with this
society, but he ventures to hope that if it continue to progress, there
will be found Christian hearts in England to wish it success and
Christian hands to afford it some occasional assistance.  If the work of
the Lord be done, it matters little whether Apollos or Paul be the

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. Feb. 4, 1839)
                                                SEVILLE, _Jany._ 12, 1839.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I reached Cadiz in safety, after crossing the Bay of
Biscay in rather boisterous weather.  I have been in Seville about a
week, part of which time I have been rather indisposed with an old
complaint; this night at ten o'clock I leave, with the letter-courier,
for Madrid, whither I hope to arrive in something less than four days.  I
should have started before now, had an opportunity presented itself.  I
have been much occupied since coming here in writing to my friends in
Spain apprising them of my arrival, amongst others to Sir George
Villiers.  I have of course visited the Sevillian bookseller, my
correspondent here.  He informed me that seventy-six copies of the
hundred Testaments entrusted to his care were placed in embargo by the
Government last summer.  They are at present in the possession of the
Ecclesiastical Governor.  I visited him also the other day, to make
enquiries concerning our property.  He lives in a large house in the
_Pajaria_, or straw-market.  He is a very old man, between seventy and
eighty, and like almost all those who wear the sacerdotal habit in this
city is a fierce persecuting Papist.  I believe he scarcely believed his
ears when his two grand-nephews, beautiful black-haired boys, who were
playing in the courtyard, ran to inform him that an Englishman was
waiting to speak with him, as it is probable that I was the first heretic
who ever ventured into his habitation.  I found him in a vaulted room
seated on a lofty chair, with two sinister-looking secretaries, also in
sacerdotal habits, employed in writing at a table before him.  He brought
powerfully to my recollection the grim old inquisitor who persuaded
Philip the Second to slay his own son as an enemy to the Church.  He
arose as I entered, and gazed upon me with a countenance dark with
suspicion and dissatisfaction.  He at last condescended to point me to a
sofa, and I proceeded to state to him my business.  He became much
agitated when I mentioned the Testaments to him; but I no sooner spoke of
the Bible Society and told him who I was, than he could contain himself
no longer, and with a stammering tongue and with eyes flashing fire like
hot coals, he proceeded to rail against the Society and myself, saying
that the aims of the first were atrocious and that as to myself, he was
surprised that being once lodged in the prison of Madrid I had ever been
permitted to quit it; adding that it was disgraceful in the Government to
allow a person of my character to roam about an innocent and peaceful
country, corrupting the minds of the ignorant and unsuspicious.  Far from
allowing myself to be disconcerted by his rude behaviour, I replied to
him with all possible politeness, and assured him that in this instance
he had no reason to alarm himself, as that my sole motive in claiming the
books in question was to avail myself of an opportunity, which at present
presented itself of sending them out of the country, which indeed I had
been commanded to do by an official notice.  But nothing would soothe
him, and he informed me that he should not deliver up the books on any
condition, save by a positive order of the Government.  As the matter was
by no means an affair of consequence I thought it wise not to persist,
and also prudent to take my leave before he requested me.  I was followed
even down into the street by his niece and grand-nephews, who during the
whole of the conversation had listened at the door of the apartment and
heard every word.

I have at present little more to say, having detailed everything worth
mentioning which has occurred since [my] landing in the Peninsula for the
third time.  As soon as I reach Madrid I shall proceed to make
preparations for a fresh expedition, but in what direction I have
scarcely determined.  Please therefore to pray that I may be enlightened,
and that the angel of the Lord may smooth my path before me.  Greet all
my friends in my name; I hope speedily to be able to write to each, and
in the meantime remain, Revd. and dear Sir, yours ever,

                                                                     G. B.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. Feb. 4, 1839)
                                            MADRID, No. 16 CALLE SANTIAGO,
                                                       25 _January_, 1839.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--My last letter was from Seville, in which I gave you
an account of my proceedings in that place, at the same time stating that
I was about to repair to Madrid with the courier.  After travelling four
days and nights we arrived, without having experienced the slightest
accident; though it is but just to observe, and always with gratitude to
the Almighty, that the next courier was stopped.

A singular accident befell me immediately after my arrival.  On entering
the arch of the _posada_, called La Reyna, where I intended to put up, I
found myself encircled in a person's arms, and on turning round in
amazement beheld my Greek servant Antonio; he was haggard and
ill-dressed, and his eyes seemed starting from their sockets.  As soon as
we were alone he informed me that since my departure he had undergone
great misery and destitution, having during the whole period been unable
to obtain a master in need of his services, so that he was brought nearly
to the verge of desperation; but that on the night immediately preceding
my arrival he had a dream in which he saw me, mounted on a black horse,
ride up to the gate of the _posada_, and that on that account he had been
waiting there during the greatest part of the day.  I do not pretend to
offer any opinion concerning this narrative, which is beyond the reach of
my philosophy, and shall content myself with observing that only two
individuals in Madrid, one of them Lord Clarendon (late Sir George
Villiers), were aware of my arrival in Spain.  I was very glad to receive
him again into my service, as notwithstanding his faults, and he has
many, he has in many instances proved of no slight assistance to me in my
wanderings and Biblical labours, as indeed I have informed you on
previous occasions.

I was soon settled in my former lodgings, when one of my first cares was
to pay a visit to Lord Clarendon.  I need not dilate on the particulars
of our interview; suffice it to say, that he received me with more than
usual kindness, and assured me that I might invariably rely upon him, if
I should ever chance to be in need of his assistance and protection.  I
told him that it was not our intention to take any steps towards
preventing the civil or ecclesiastical authorities of Toledo from
destroying the Testaments seized at Ocana; and he smiled when I added
that the only wish we ventured to express concerning the matter was that,
in the event of these books, which contain the Word of God, being
committed to the flames, the said authorities, civil or ecclesiastic,
would commit the act with all the publicity possible.

My preparations for taking the field are now nearly completed, and within
forty hours I hope to commence operations.  My first attempt will be made
in a large village [at] about a league's distance; and if it please the
Lord to permit me to succeed there, it is my intention to proceed to all
those villages or hamlets in the vicinity of Madrid hitherto not
supplied.  I then wend towards the east, to a distance of about thirty
leagues.  I have been very passionate in prayer during the last two or
three days; and I entertain some hope that the Lord has condescended to
answer me, as I appear to see my way with considerable clearness.  It
may, of course, prove a delusion, and the prospects which seem to present
themselves may be mere palaces of clouds which a breath of wind is
sufficient to tumble into ruin; therefore bearing this possibility in
mind it behoves me to beg that I may be always enabled to bow meekly to
the dispensations of the Almighty, whether they be of favour or severity.

Two days ago I received my largest and most useful horse from the Sagra
of Toledo and likewise a note from Lopez; he is unable to come himself at
present to assist me, but he sent a countryman who, he is of opinion,
will be of equal utility, at least for a time.  I yesterday despatched
him to the low parts of Madrid, or as they are styled, _Los Barrios
bajos_; he succeeded in disposing of twelve Testaments, amongst the very
poor people, in a few hours.  My other horse is at Salamanca, in Old
Castile; but he suffered so much during my late expeditions, that it will
hardly answer my purpose to send for him.

In passing through La Mancha we stayed for four hours at Manzanares, a
large village which I hope to visit again shortly.  I was standing in the
market-place conversing with a curate, when a frightful ragged object
presented itself; it was a girl about eighteen or nineteen, perfectly
blind, a white film being spread over her huge staring eyes; her
countenance was as yellow as that of a mulatto.  I thought at first that
she was a Gypsy, and addressing myself to her, enquired in Gitano if she
were of that race.  She understood me; but shaking her head replied, that
she was something better than a Gitana, and could speak something better
than that jargon of witches, whereupon she commenced asking me several
questions in exceeding good Latin.  I was of course very much surprised,
but summoning all my Latinity, I called her Manchegan prophetess, and
expressing my admiration at her learning begged to be informed by what
means she became possessed of it.  I must here observe that a crowd
instantly gathered around us who, though they understood not one word of
our discourse, at every sentence of the girl shouted applause, proud in
possession of a prophetess who could answer the Englishman.  She informed
me that she was born blind, and that a Jesuit priest had taken compassion
on her when she was a child, and had taught her the 'holy language,' in
order that the attention and hearts of Christians might be more easily
turned towards her.  I soon discovered that he had taught her something
more than Latin, for upon telling her that I was an Englishman, she said
that she had always loved Britain which was once the nursery of saints
and sages--for example, Bede and Alcuin, Colombus [_sic_] and Thomas of
Canterbury; but she added, those times had gone by since the
re-appearance of Semiramis (Elizabeth).  Her Latin was truly excellent;
and when I, like a genuine Goth, spoke of Anglia and Terra Vandalica
(Andalusia), she corrected me by saying that in her language those places
were called Britannia, and Terra Betica.  When we had finished our
discourse, a gathering was made for the prophetess, the very poorest
contributing something.  What wonderful people are the Jesuits!  When
shall we hear of an English rector instructing a beggar girl in the
language of Cicero?

Ever yours,

                                                                     G. B.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                        (_Endorsed_: recd. Feby. 25, 1839)
                                                MADRID, 16 CALLE SANTIAGO,
                                                         15 _Febry._ 1839.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--In my last communication I stated that I had got
everything in readiness to commence operations in the neighbourhood of
Madrid, and indeed since that period I have entered upon my labours in
reality, though unforeseen circumstances produced an unavoidable delay of
several days.  It is with feelings of gratitude to the Almighty that I
now state that considerable success has attended my feeble efforts in the
good cause.  All the villages within the distance of four leagues to the
east of Madrid have been visited, and Testaments to the number of nearly
two hundred have been disposed of.  It will be here necessary for me to
inform you that these villages, for the most part, are very small; some
of them consisting of not more than a dozen houses, or I should rather
say miserable cabins.  I left my servant Antonio to superintend matters
in Madrid, and proceeded with Vitoriano, the peasant from Villa Seca, in
the direction which I have already mentioned.  We however soon parted
company, and pursued different routes.  The first village at which I made
an attempt was Cobenna, about three leagues from Madrid.  I was dressed
in the fashion of the peasants of the neighbourhood of Segovia in Old
Castile, namely, I had on my head a species of leather helmet, or
_montera_, with a jacket and trowsers of the same material.  I had the
appearance of a person between sixty and seventy years of age, and drove
before me a _burrico_, with a sack of Testaments lying across its back.
On nearing the village I met a genteel-looking young woman leading a
little boy by the hand.  As I was about to pass her with the customary
salutation of '_Vaya usted con Dios_,' she stopped, and after looking at
me for a moment she said; 'Uncle (_Tio_), what is that you have on your
_burrico_?  Is it soap?'  I replied, 'Yes; it is soap to wash souls
clean.'  She demanded what I meant; whereupon I told her that I carried
cheap and godly books for sale.  On her requesting to see one, I produced
a copy from my pocket, and handed it to her.  She instantly commenced
reading it with a loud voice, and continued so for at least ten minutes,
occasionally exclaiming, '_Que lectura tan bonita_, _que lectura tan
linda_!'  ('What beautiful, what charming reading!')  At last, on my
informing her that I was in a hurry and could not wait any longer, she
said, 'True, true,' and asked me the price of the book.  I told her 'But
three _reals_'; whereupon she said that though what I asked was very
little, it was more than she could afford to give, as there was little or
no money in those parts.  I said I was sorry for it, but that I could not
dispose of the book for less than I had demanded, and accordingly
resuming it, wished her farewell and left her.  I had not, however,
proceeded thirty yards, when the boy came running behind me, shouting out
of breath: 'Stop, uncle! the book, the book.'  Upon overtaking me he
delivered me the three _reals_ in copper, and seizing the Testament, ran
back to her, who I suppose was his sister, flourishing the book over his
head with great glee.

On arriving at the village I directed my steps to a house around the door
of which I saw several persons gathered, chiefly women.  On my displaying
my books their curiosity was instantly aroused, and every person had
speedily one in his hand, many reading aloud.  However, after waiting
nearly an hour I had disposed of but one copy, all complaining bitterly
of the distress of the times and the almost total want of money, though
at the same time they acknowledged that the books were wonderfully cheap
and appeared to be very good and Christian-like.  I was about to gather
up my merchandise and depart, when on a sudden the curate of the place
made his appearance.  After having examined the books for some time with
considerable attention, he asked me the price of a copy, and upon my
informing him that it was three _reals_, he replied that the binding was
worth more, and that he was much afraid that I had stolen the books, and
that it was perhaps his duty to send me to prison as a suspicious
character.  He added however that the books were good books, however they
might be obtained, and concluded by purchasing and paying for two copies.
The poor people no sooner heard their curate recommend the volumes, than
all were eager to secure one, and hurried here and there for the purpose
of procuring money, so that between twenty and thirty copies were sold
almost in an instant.  This adventure not only affords an instance of the
power still possessed by the Spanish clergy over the minds of the people,
but likewise that such influence is not always exerted in a manner
favourable to the maintenance of ignorance and superstition.

In another village on my showing a Testament to a woman, she said that
she had a child at school for whom she should like to purchase one, but
that she must first know whether the book was calculated to be of service
to him.  She then went away, and presently returned with the
schoolmaster, followed by all the children under his care.  She then,
showing the schoolmaster a book, enquired if it would answer for her son.
The schoolmaster called her a simpleton for asking such a question, and
said that he knew the book well, and there was not its equal in the
world.  (_No hay otro en el mundo_.)  He instantly purchased five copies
for his pupils, regretting that he had no more money, 'For in that case,'
said he, 'I would buy the whole cargo.'  Upon hearing this, the woman
purchased four copies: namely, one for her son, another for her husband
who was dead, a third for herself, and a fourth for her brother, whom,
she said, she was expecting home that night from Madrid.

In this manner we proceeded, not however with uniform success.  In some
villages the people were so poor and needy that they had literally no
money; even in these, however, we managed to dispose of a few copies in
exchange for barley or refreshments.  (Is this right?)

On entering one very small hamlet, Vitoriano was stopped by the curate,
who on learning what he carried told him that unless he instantly
departed, he would cause him to be imprisoned, and write to Madrid in
order to give information of what was going on.  The excursion lasted
about eight days.  Immediately after my return, I despatched Vitoriano to
Caramanchel, a village at the distance of half a league from Madrid, the
only one towards the west which had not been visited last year.  He
stayed there about an hour and disposed of twelve copies, and then
returned, as he is exceedingly timid and was afraid of being met by the
thieves who swarm on that road in the evening.  In a few days I depart
for Guadalajara and the villages of Alcarria.


To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. Mar. 15, 1839)
                                               NAVAL CARNERO, NEW CASTILE,
                                                          _March_ 4, 1839.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I have to acknowledge the receipt of your kind
letter of the 6th ult., which I hope to be able to answer in all points
on another occasion.  I am now in a small town on the road to Talavera,
to which place it is possible that I may proceed.  I take up the pen in
order to give you a brief account of what has taken place since I last
wrote.  I have that to communicate which I am confident will cause
yourself and the remainder of my dear friends in Earl Street to smile;
while at the same time it will not fail to prove interesting, as
affording an example of the feeling prevalent in some of the lone and
solitary villages of Spain with respect to innovation and all that
savours thereof, and the strange acts which are sometimes committed by
the rural authorities and the priests, without the slightest fear of
being called to account; for as they live quite apart {392} from the rest
of the world, they know no people greater than themselves, and scarcely
dream of a higher power than their own.  In my latest communication I
stated that I was about to make an excursion to Gaudalajara and the
villages of Alcarria; indeed I merely awaited the return of Vitoriano to
sally forth: I having despatched him in that direction with a few
Testaments as a kind of explorer, in order that from his report as to the
disposition manifested by the people for purchasing, I might form a
tolerably accurate opinion as to the number of copies which it might be
necessary to carry with me.  However I heard nothing of him for a
fortnight, at the end of which period a letter was brought to me by a
peasant, dated from the prison of Fuente La Higuera, a village eight
leagues from Madrid, in the _campina_, or champaign of Alcala.  This
letter, written by Vitoriano, gave me to understand, that he had been
already eight days imprisoned, and that unless I could find some means to
extricate him there was every probability of his remaining in durance
until he should perish with hunger, which he had no doubt would occur as
soon as his money was exhausted and he was unable to purchase the
necessaries of life at a great price.  From what I afterwards learned it
appeared that after passing the town of Alcala he had commenced
distributing, and with considerable success.  His entire stock consisted
of sixty-one Testaments, twenty-five of which he sold without the least
difficulty or interruption in the single village of Arganza, the poor
labourers showering blessings on his head for providing them with such
good books at an easy price.  Not more than eighteen remained when he
turned off the high road towards Fuente La Higuera.  This place was
already tolerably well known to him, he having visited it of old when he
travelled the country in the capacity of a vendor of _cacharros_ or
earthen pans.  He subsequently stated that he felt some misgiving whilst
on the way, as the village had invariably enjoyed a bad reputation.  On
his arrival, after having put up his _caballejo_, or little pony, at a
_posada_, he proceeded to the _Alcalde_ for the purpose of demanding
permission to sell books, which that dignitary immediately granted.  He
now entered a house and sold a copy, and likewise in a second.
Emboldened by success he entered a third, which it appeared belonged to
the barber-surgeon of the village.  This personage, having just completed
his dinner, was seated in an arm-chair within his doorway when Vitoriano
made his appearance.  He was a man of about thirty-five, of a savage,
truculent countenance.  On Vitoriano's offering him a Testament he took
it into his hand to examine it; but no sooner did his eyes glance over
the title-page than he burst into a loud laugh, exclaiming: 'Ha, ha, Don
Jorge Borrow, the English heretic, we have encountered you at last.
Glory to the Virgin and the Saints!  We have long been expecting you
here, and at length you have arrived.'  He then enquired the price of the
book, and on being told three _reals_, he flung down two, and rushed out
of the house with the Testament in his hand.  Vitoriano now became
alarmed, and determined upon leaving the place as soon as possible.  He
therefore hurried back to the _posada_, and having paid for the barley
which his pony had consumed, went into the stable, and placing the
pack-saddle on the animal's back was about to lead it forth when the
_Alcalde_ of the village, the surgeon, and twelve other men, some of whom
were armed with muskets, suddenly presented themselves.  They instantly
made Vitoriano prisoner, and, after seizing the books and laying an
embargo on the pony, proceeded amidst much abuse to drag their captive to
what they denominated their prison, a low damp apartment with a little
grated window, where they locked him up and left him.  At the expiration
of three quarters of an hour they again appeared, and conducted him to
the house of the curate, where they sat down in conclave, the curate who
was a man stone-blind being president, whilst the sacristan officiated as
secretary.  The surgeon having stated his accusation against the
prisoner, namely, that he had detected him in the fact of selling a
version of the Scriptures in the vulgar tongue, the curate proceeded to
examine Vitoriano, asking him his name and place of residence--to which
he replied that his name was Vitoriano Lopez, and that he was a native of
Villa Seca in the Sagra of Toledo.  The curate then demanded what
religion he professed, and whether he was a Mahometan or freemason, and
received for answer that he was a Roman Catholic.  I must here state that
Vitoriano, though sufficiently shrewd in his way, is a poor old labourer
of sixty-four, and until that moment had never heard of Mahometans or
freemasons.  The curate becoming now incensed, called him a _tunante_ or
scoundrel, and added, 'You have sold your soul to a heretic; we have long
been aware of your proceedings, and those of your master.  You are the
same Lopez, whom he last year rescued from the prison of Villallos, in
the province of Avila.  I sincerely hope that he will attempt to do the
same thing here.'  'Yes, yes,' shouted the rest of the conclave, 'let him
but venture here, and we will shed his heart's blood on our stones.'  In
this manner they went on for nearly half-an-hour; at last they broke up
the meeting and conducted Vitoriano once more to his prison.

During his confinement he lived tolerably well, being in possession of
money; his meals were sent him twice a day from the _posada_, where his
pony remained in embargo.  Once or twice he asked permission of the
_Alcalde_, who visited him every night and morning with his armed guard,
to purchase pen and paper, in order that he might write to Madrid; but
this favour was peremptorily refused him, and all the inhabitants of the
village were forbidden under terrible penalties to afford him the means
of writing, or to convey any message from him beyond the precincts of the
place, and two boys were stationed before the window of his cell for the
purpose of watching everything which might be conveyed to him.  It
happened one day that Vitoriano, being in need of a pillow for his head,
sent word to the people of the _posada_ to send him his _alforjas_ or
saddle-bags, which they did.  In these bags there chanced to be a kind of
rope or, as it is called in Spanish, _soga_, with which he was in the
habit of fastening his satchel to the pony's back.  The urchins seeing an
end of this rope hanging from the _alforjas_ instantly ran to the
_Alcalde_ to give him information.  Late at evening the _Alcalde_ again
visited the prisoner, at the head of his twelve men as usual.  '_Buenas
noches_,' said the _Alcalde_.  '_Buenas noches tenga usted_,' replied
Vitoriano.  'For what purpose did you send for the _soga_ this
afternoon?' demanded the functionary.  'I sent for no _soga_,' said the
prisoner, 'I sent for my _alforjas_ to serve as a pillow, and it was sent
in them by chance.'  'Thou art a false malicious knave,' retorted the
_Alcalde_, 'you intend to hang yourself, and by so doing ruin us all, as
your death would be laid to our door.  Give me the _soga_.'  No greater
insult can be offered to a Spaniard, than to tax him with an intention of
committing suicide.  Poor Vitoriano flew into a violent rage, and after
calling the _Alcalde_ several uncivil names, he pulled the _soga_ from
his bags, and flinging it at his head, told him to take it home and use
it for his own neck.

At length the people of the _posada_ took pity on the prisoner,
perceiving that he was very harshly treated for no crime at all.  They
therefore determined to afford him an opportunity of informing his
friends of his situation, and accordingly sent him a pen and inkhorn,
concealed in a loaf of bread, and a piece of writing-paper, pretending
that the latter was intended for cigars.  So Vitoriano wrote the letter;
but now ensued the difficulty of sending it to its destination, as no
person in the village dare have carried it for any reward.  The good
people, however, persuaded a disbanded soldier from another village, who
chanced to be at Fuente La Higuera in quest of work, to charge himself
with it, promising that I would pay him well for his trouble.  The man,
watching his opportunity, received the letter from Vitoriano at the
window; and it was he who, after travelling on foot all night, delivered
it to me in safety at Madrid.

I was now relieved from my anxiety, and had no fears for the result.  I
instantly went to a friend who is in possession of large estates about
Guadalajara, in which province Fuente La Higuera is situated, who
furnished me with letters to the Civil Governor of Guadalajara and all
the principal authorities, and at Antonio's request, I despatched him
upon the errand of the prisoner's liberation.  He first directed his
course to Fuente La Higuera, where entering the _Alcalde's_ house he
boldly told him what he had come about.  The _Alcalde_, expecting that I
was at hand with an army of Englishmen for the purpose of rescuing the
prisoner, became greatly alarmed, and instantly despatched his wife to
summon his twelve men.  However, on Antonio's assuring him that there was
no intention of having recourse to violence, he became more tranquil.  In
a little time Antonio was summoned before the conclave and its blind
sacerdotal president.  They at first attempted to frighten him, by
assuming a loud bullying tone and talking of the necessity of killing all
strangers, and especially the detested Don Jorge and his dependents.
Antonio, however, who is not a person apt to allow himself to be easily
terrified, scoffed at their threats, and showing them his letters to the
authorities of Guadalajara said that he should proceed there on the
morrow and denounce their lawless conduct; adding that he was a Turkish
subject, and that should they dare to offer him the slightest incivility
he would write to the Sublime Porte, in comparison with whom the best
kings in the world were but worms, and who would not fail to avenge the
wrongs of any of his children, however distant, in a manner too terrible
to be mentioned.  He then returned to his _posada_.  The conclave now
proceeded to deliberate among themselves, and at last determined to
despatch their prisoner on the morrow to Guadalajara, and deliver him
into the hands of the Civil Governor.

Nevertheless, in order to keep up a semblance of authority, they that
night placed two men armed at the door of the _posada_ where Antonio was
lodged, as if he himself were a prisoner; these men as often as the clock
struck the hours, shouted, '_Ave Maria_!  Death to the heretics!'  Early
in the morning the _Alcalde_ presented himself at the _posada_, but
before entering he made an oration at the door to the people in the
street saying amongst other things: 'Brethren, these are the fellows who
have come to rob us of our religion.'  He then went into Antonio's
apartment, and after saluting him with great politeness said that as a
royal or high mass was about to be celebrated that morning, he had come
to invite him to go to church with him; whereupon Antonio, though by no
means a mass-goer, rose and accompanied him, and remained two hours, as
he told me, on his knees on the cold stones to his great discomfort, the
eyes of the whole congregation being fixed upon him during the time.

After mass and breakfast, he departed for Guadalajara, Vitoriano having
been already despatched there under a guard.  On his arrival he presented
his letters to the individuals for whom they were intended.  The Civil
Governor was convulsed with merriment on hearing Antonio's account of the
adventure.  Vitoriano was set at liberty and the books were placed in
embargo at Guadalajara: the Governor stating, however, that though it was
his duty to detain them at present, they should be sent to me whenever I
chose to claim them.  He moreover said that he would do his best to cause
the authorities of Fuente La Higuera to be severely punished, as in the
whole affair they had acted in a most cruel, tyrannical manner, for which
they had no authority.  Thus terminated this affair, one of those little
accidents which chequer missionary life in Spain.

Vitoriano is now with me at Naval Carnero, as he begged me almost on his
knees to be permitted to attend me and to be employed as before.  At his
imprisonment he smiles.  Antonio and myself have lately been very
successful at Madrid, having sold considerably upwards of a hundred
Testaments and several Bibles.  It is with deep gratitude I state that
the poor of Madrid receive the Scripture with gladness: to the rich I
offer it not, their hearts are hard.  I am writing a journal of the
present expedition.

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To Mr. W. Hitchin

                                        (_Endorsed_: recd. March 21, 1839)
                                                  MADRID, _March_ 9, 1839.

On the other side I send you my account, which I hope you will find
correct.  In order to prevent confusion, I have charged my expenses from
the period of my leaving London until my arrival at Cadiz in the Spanish,
instead of the English currency.  Respecting the item of Vitoriano, it
will be as well to observe that, when employed in journeying, I allow him
six _reals_ per diem and his diet, and two when in Madrid.  I do not know
that there is anything else to which I need direct your attention, except
that I have not noted my quarter's salary because ignorant of the rate of
exchange.  If you please, you can credit me to the amount.

I did not go further than Naval Carnero on the way to Talavera, on
account of an accident which occurred, the clergy having raised the
country against me.  Glory to God, they are becoming thoroughly alarmed,
and with much reason.  I have disposed of all the Bibles bound already,
and have been compelled on account of the demand to order the rest of the
sheets to be got in readiness.  We shall be compelled to evacuate our
storehouse and to seek another, as the rats are doing prodigious havoc to
the stores.

Pray, remember me to all friends, and believe me, etc.,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. Apr. 8, 1839)
                                                          20 _March_ 1839,
                                                   MADRID, CALLE SANTIAGO.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--Having much to communicate, and of no slight
importance, I shall offer no apology for now addressing you.  My last
letter was from Naval Carnero, in which I informed you of various
circumstances, connected with the distribution of the blessed Gospel,
which had recently occurred.  I likewise stated that it was very probable
that I should proceed to Talavera, for the purpose of seeing what might
be done in that neighbourhood.  The day, however, subsequent to
dispatching my letter ushered in events which compelled me to alter my
resolution; twenty Testaments were seized in a village in the
neighbourhood of Naval Carnero, and I learned that our proceedings, on
the other side of Madrid, had caused alarm amongst the heads of the
clergy, who made a formal complaint to the Government--who immediately
sent orders to all the _Alcaldes_ of the villages, great and small, in
New Castile to seize the New Testament wherever it might be exposed for
sale, but at the same time to be particularly careful not to detain or
maltreat the person or persons who might be attempting to vend it.  An
exact description of myself accompanied these orders, and the
authorities, both civil and military, were exhorted to be on their guard
against me, and my arts and machinations; for, as the document stated, I
was to-day in one place and to-morrow at twenty leagues distance.  On
receiving this intelligence, I instantly resolved to change for a time my
strategic system, and not to persist in a course which would expose the
sacred volume to seizure at every step which I might take to circulate
it.  I therefore galloped back to Madrid, leaving Vitoriano to follow.
It will be as well to observe here, that we sold twenty and odd
Testaments in villages adjacent to Naval Carnero, before the orders had

Arrived at Madrid, I lost not a moment in putting into execution the plan
which I had formed.  Having an extensive acquaintance amongst the lower
orders, I instantly selected eight of the most intelligent to co-operate
with me, amongst whom were five women.  All these I supplied with
Testaments, and then sent them forth to all the parishes in Madrid.  I
will at once state the result which, I confess, has more than answered my
expectations.  Since my return from Naval Carnero nearly six hundred
copies of the life and words of Him of Nazareth have been sold in the
streets and alleys of Madrid, a fact which I hope I may be permitted to
mention with gladness and with decent triumph in the Lord.  There is a
place in Madrid called the Puerta del Sol, which is a central spot,
surrounded with shops, into which the four principal streets disembogue,
if I may be allowed the expression.  These streets are the Calle Alcala,
the Calle Montera, the Calle Mayor, and that of Carreta.  The wealthiest
of all these is the Calle Montera, where reside the principal merchants
and shop-keepers of Madrid; it is in fact the street of commerce, and is
in many respects similar to the Zacatin of Granada.  Every house in this
street is supplied with its Testament, and the same may be said with
respect to the Puerta del Sol; nay, in some instances every individual in
the house, man and child, man-servant and maid-servant, is furnished with
a copy, which we have invariably sold, and never given.  My Greek Antonio
has made wonderful exertions in this quarter, and it is but justice to
say that but for his instrumentality, on many occasions, I might be by no
means able to give so favourable an account of the spread of the Bible in
Spain, as I now conscientiously can.  There was a time when, as you are
well aware, I was in the habit of saying, 'Dark Madrid,' an expression
which I thank God I may now drop; for can that city justly be called
'dark' in which thirteen hundred Testaments, at least, are in circulation
and in daily use?

It appears to me that a glorious reform is commencing in Spain; indeed
matters have lately come to my knowledge, which had they been prophesied
only a year ago by the Spirit of truth itself, I should have experienced
much difficulty in believing.  You will be surprised when I tell you that
in two churches of Madrid, the New Testament is regularly expounded every
Sunday evening, by the respective curates, to about twenty children who
attend, and who are provided with copies of the Society's edition of
Madrid, 1837.  The churches which I allude to are those of San Gines and
Santa Cruz.  Now I humbly conceive that this fact alone is more than
equivalent to all the expense which the Society has incurred, in the
efforts which it has hitherto made to introduce the Gospel into Spain;
but be this as it may, I am certain, if I may judge by my own feelings,
that it has amply recompensed me for all the anxiety and unhappiness
which I underwent last year.  Whenever I am now called upon to
discontinue my labours in the Peninsula, I shall comply without the
slightest murmur or remonstrance, my heart being filled with gratitude to
the Lord for having been permitted, useless vessel as I am, to see at
least some of the seed springing up which during two years I have been
casting on the stony ground of the interior of Spain.

There is at present a great demand for Bibles; since the time of writing
last we have sold upwards of one hundred copies.  Indeed the demand is
far greater than I can answer, as the books are disposed of faster than
they can be bound by the man whom I employ for that purpose, and in whose
secrecy and honour I have perfect confidence.  Eight-and-twenty copies
are at present bespoken and paid for.  Many of these Bibles have found
their way into the best houses in Madrid.  The Marquis of Santa Coloma
has a large family, but every individual of it, old or young, is now in
possession of a Bible and likewise of a Testament, which, strange to say,
were recommended by the chaplain of the house.  One of my most zealous
agents in the propagation of the Bible is an ecclesiastic.  He never
walks out without carrying one beneath his gown, which he offers to the
first person he meets whom he thinks likely to purchase.  Another
excellent assistant is an elderly gentleman of Navarre, enormously rich,
who is continually purchasing copies on his own account, which he, as I
am told, sends into his native province, for distribution amongst his
friends and the poor.

I have at present sold as many Testaments as I think Madrid will bear,
for a time.  I have therefore called in the greatest part of my people,
and content myself with the sale of twelve or fourteen a week, for I am
afraid to over-stock the market, and to bring the book into contempt by
making it too common.  The greatest part of those which still remain
(about one thousand) I reserve for Seville, Granada, and some of the
other inland cities of Andalusia, specially Jaen, the bishop of which is
very favourable to us and our cause.  I have likewise my eye on Ceuta,
its garrison, its convicts, and singular inhabitants, half Spaniards,
half Moors.  To Andalusia I shall probably proceed in about three weeks.

I beg leave to call your attention to the work I sent you, and the
ferocious attack which it contains against the Bible Society, and
especially to the letter of the curate, which I sincerely wish you would
insert in your Extracts.  This publication was established and is
supported by money sent by the Cardinals of Rome, and is principally
directed against us.  Its abuse, however, is our praise; and the world
may form some judgment of what we are accomplishing in Spain by attending
to some of the remarks and observations which appear in this work, and
which are in all points worthy of Rome and its clan.

My respects to Mr. Josiah Forster, who I hope will have received the
biography of Ripoll, the Quaker, executed at Valencia in 1826.

What news from China?


To the Rev. Joseph Jowett

                                        (_Endorsed_: recd. April 22, 1839)
                                                         _April_ 10, 1839,
                                            MADRID, No. 16 CALLE SANTIAGO.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--In a few days I shall leave Madrid for Seville; and
being anxious to write a few lines before my departure in order that
yourself and others friends may be acquainted with the exact state of
affairs in Spain, I embrace the present opportunity.  In the first place
however I beg leave to apologise for not having ere this performed my
promise of writing.  Many causes unnecessary to recapitulate prevented
me; but I steadfastly hope that already with your usual considerate
goodness you have imputed my tardiness to anything but neglect.

A convoy starts for Andalusia on the 13th, and I intend to avail myself
of it so far as to send therewith my servant Antonio with the horses and
the Testaments which I destine for circulation in that province.  I shall
myself follow with the courier.  True it is that I had determined to
proceed by Estremadura, but circumstances have occurred which have
induced me to alter my resolution.  The roads in Spain are in a worse
state than ever; and in Estremadura particularly, which for some time
past has enjoyed a tolerable state of tranquillity, a band of Carlist
robbers have lately made their appearance, who murder, make prisoner, or
put at ransom every person who has the misfortune to fall into their
hands.  I therefore deem it wise to avoid, if possible, the alternative
of being shot or having to pay one thousand pounds for being set at
liberty, which has already befallen several individuals.  It is moreover
wicked to tempt Providence systematically.  I have already thrust myself
into more danger than was perhaps strictly necessary, and as I have been
permitted hitherto to escape, it is better to be content with what it has
pleased the Lord to do for me up to the present moment, than to run the
risk of offending Him by a blind confidence in His forbearance, which may
be over-taxed.  As it is, however, at all times best to be frank, I am
willing to confess that I am what the world calls exceedingly
superstitious; perhaps the real cause of my change of resolution was a
dream, in which I imagined myself on a desolate road in the hands of
several robbers, who were hacking me with their long ugly knives.

We have been very successful of late, having, since my last letter to Mr.
Brandram, sold no less than two hundred Bibles, so that not more than one
hundred and fifty remain of the five hundred which were sent to me from
Barcelona in sheets.  I have discontinued selling Testaments in Madrid,
as it appears to me that we shall have barely sufficient, unless
something unforeseen occurs, for Andalusia and one or two other points
which I wish to visit.  When I recollect the difficulties which have
encompassed our path, I can sometimes hardly credit all that the Almighty
has permitted us to accomplish within the last year: a large edition of
the New Testament almost entirely disposed of in the very centre of old,
gloomy, fanatic Spain, in spite of the opposition and the furious cry of
the sanguinary priesthood and the edicts of a tyrannical, deceitful
Government; moreover a spirit of religious enquiry excited, which I have
fervent hope will sooner or later lead to blessed and most important
results.  Till of late the name most abhorred and dreaded in these parts
of Spain was that of Martin Luther, who was in general considered as a
species of demon, a cousin-german to Belial and Beelzebub, who under the
disguise of a man wrote and preached blasphemy against the Highest.  Yet
now, strange to say, this once abominated personage is spoken of with no
slight degree of respect.  People, with Bibles in their hands, not
unfrequently visit me, enquiring with much earnestness and with no slight
degree of simplicity for the writings of the great Doctor Martin, whom
indeed some suppose to be still alive.  It will be as well here to
observe that of all the names connected with the Reformation, that of
Luther is the only one known in Spain, and let me add that no
controversial writings but his are likely to be esteemed as possessing
the slightest weight or authority, however great their intrinsic merit
may be.  The printing, therefore, of tracts in the Spanish language, of
the description hitherto adopted, appears to be pregnant with no good or
benefit whatever.  Of what might be the result of well-executed
translations of judicious selections from the works of Luther, it is not
my business to offer an opinion.

Before commencing this journey to Andalusia I must take the liberty of
making one humble request to my friends of the Bible Society, which is to
be patient.  It may not be in my power to send them for a long time any
flattering accounts of operations commenced there.  I shall be surrounded
with enemies, bitter, malignant, and powerful, against whose efforts it
is very possible that I may not be able to stand my ground; or the books
which I carry with me may be seized and sequestrated, in spite of all the
plans which I have devised for their safety.  The great failing of
Protestants, in general, is a tendency to spring suddenly to the pinnacle
of exultation, and as suddenly to fall to the lowest bathos of dejection,
forgetting that the brightest day as well as the most gloomy night must
necessarily have a termination.  How far more wise are the members of
that object of my undying detestation, the Church of Rome; from mixing
with whom I have acquired one principal point of wisdom, which may be
termed, _Ever to expect evil_, _and ever to hope for good_; by attending
to which maxim we find that Church ever regaining the ground which it has
lost.  Yesterday seeming a lifeless stick, as in the case of England,
to-day it is a magnificent tree, glorious with leaves and fruit.  Excuse
these observations which, I assure you, are well meant.  No one
acquainted with me will lay undue partiality to the Roman Church to my
charge, yet there are some points about it which I highly admire; and you
know well enough that it is lawful to receive instruction from an enemy.

I have been lately going through Morrison's Chinese Matthew.  I confess
that I am the merest tyro in the language, nevertheless I am compelled to
state that upon the whole I do not like the translation.  It appears to
me that in various instances the characters are not grammatically placed;
I mean, not as they are placed in the writings if the best Chinese
authors to express the same ideas.  Moreover he has translated the sacred
Name by the character which the Chinese are in the habit of bestowing on
the spirits whose idols they worship, and which is by no means applicable
to the one great God, whom the missionaries of the Greek and Roman
Churches for want of an equivalent in Chinese have always styled, and
with justice [three Chinese characters] (_tien tsz hwang_), or King of
Heaven.  The Holy Ghost, he renders by _tching fung_, or Holy Wind, which
is a Hebraism, and which can scarcely be understood by the Chinese.  In
Lipoftsoff's Mandchou version it is happily translated by the Holy
Spirit.  You will recollect that on my second return to Spain you
requested me to look into Morrison's Testament, on which account I shall
offer no excuse for these trifling remarks.

Do me the favour, my dear Sir, to inform Mr. Hitchin that within a day or
two I shall send him another account of money received and disbursed.  I
hope you forwarded the packet containing the life of Ripoll to Mr.
Forster.--Having now said my say for the present, I have the honour to
remain, Revd. and dear Sir,

Your most obedient humble servant,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram.

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. May 21, 1839)
                                            SEVILLE, SPAIN, _May_ 2, 1839.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I have been in Seville one week.  Perhaps on
learning this you will be disposed to demand the reason of my not having
written previously to this, knowing, as I do, the anxiety of my friends
to know the fate of their adventurer in his wanderings in wild Spain; but
believe me that I had several reasons for deferring, the principal being
an unconquerable aversion to writing blank letters.  At present I have
something to communicate besides my arrival, indeed one or two odd
things.  The courier and myself came all the way without the slightest
accident, my usual wonderful good fortune accompanying us. I may well
call it wonderful.  I was not aware when I resolved to venture with the
mail that I was running into the den of the lion, the whole of La Mancha
with the exception of a few fortified places being once more in the hands
of Pollillos and his banditti, who whenever it pleases them, stop the
courier, burn the vehicle and letters, murder the paltry escort which
attends, and carry away any chance passenger to the mountains, where an
enormous ransom is demanded, which if not paid, brings on the dilemma of
four shots through the head, as the Spaniards say.  The upper part of
Andalusia is becoming rapidly nearly as bad as La Mancha.  The last time
the courier had passed, he was attacked at the defile of La Rumblar by
six mounted robbers; he was guarded by an escort of as many soldiers; but
the former suddenly galloped from behind a solitary _venta_ and dashed
the soldiers to the ground, who were taken quite by surprise, the hoofs
of the robbers' horses making no noise on account of the great quantity
of mud.  The soldiers were instantly disarmed and bound to olive-trees,
with the exception of two who escaped amongst the rocks; they were then
mocked and tormented by the robbers, or rather fiends, for nearly half an
hour, when they were shot, the head of the corporal who commanded being
blown to fragments with a blunderbuss.  The robbers then burnt the coach,
which they accomplished by igniting the letters by means of the tow with
which they light their cigars.  The life of the courier was saved by one
of them who had formerly been his postillion; he was, however, robbed and
stripped.  As we passed by the scene of the butchery the poor fellow
burst into tears, and, though a Spaniard, cursed Spain and the Spaniards,
saying that he shortly intended to pass over to Morocco to confess
Mahomet and to learn the Law of the Moors, for that any country and
religion was better than his own.  He pointed to the tree where the
corporal had been tied; though much rain had fallen since, the ground
around was still saturated with blood, and a dog was gnawing a piece of
the unfortunate wretch's skull.  A friar travelled with us the whole way
from Madrid to Seville; he was _of the Missionaries_, and was going to
the Philippine Islands to conquer (_para conquistar_), for such was his
word, by which I suppose he meant preaching to the Indians.  During the
whole journey he exhibited every symptom of the most abject fear, which
operated upon him so that he became deadly sick, so that we were obliged
to stop twice in the road and lay him amongst the green corn.  He said
that if he fell into the hands of the factious he was a lost priest, for
that they would first make him say mass and then blow him up with
gunpowder.  He had been a professor of philosophy, as he told me, in one
of the convents (I think it was San Tomas) of Madrid, before their
suppression, but appeared to be grossly ignorant of the Scripture, which
he confounded with the works of Virgil.

We stopped at Manzanares as usual; it was Sunday morning and the market
was crowded with people.  I was recognised in a moment, and twenty pairs
of legs instantly hurried away in quest of the prophetess, who presently
made her appearance in the house to which we had retired to breakfast.
After many greetings on both sides, she proceeded in her admirable Latin
to give me an account of all that had occurred in the village since I had
last been there, and of the atrocities of the factious in the
neighbourhood.  I asked her to breakfast and introduced her to the friar
whom she addressed in this manner; _Anne Domine Reverendissime facis
adhuc sacrificium_?  But the friar did not understand her, and waxing
angry anathematized her for a witch and bade her begone.  She was however
not to be disconcerted, and commenced singing in extemporary Castilian
verse the praises of friars and religious houses in general.  On
departing I gave her a _peseta_, upon which she burst into tears and
entreated that I would write to her if I reached Seville in safety.

We did arrive at Seville in safety, and I took leave of the friar telling
him that I hoped to meet him again at Philippi.  I must now be brief.  In
a few days Antonio arrived with the horses.  Difficulties now began to
show themselves.  All the Testaments were stopped at the custom house,
they were contained in two large chests: but I now know Spain and the
Spaniards.  For a few dollars I procured a _fiador_ or person who engaged
_that the chests_ should be carried down the river and embarked at San
Lucar for a foreign land.  Yesterday I hired a boat and sent them down,
but on the way I landed in a secure place all the Testaments which I
intend for this part of the country.  The chests therefore, with the
copies required for Tangiers and England, with the hundred Gospels in
Gitano and Basque for the Library of the Bible Society, are at present at
San Lucar in the custom house, from which I expect to receive to-morrow
the receipt which the authorities here demand, and which will be
necessary for the security of my voucher.  Indeed the whole affair,
though attended with considerable trouble and expense to me, was a mere
formality, as I was given to understand.  I was myself treated with the
greatest politeness, and was told that my intentions were known and
honoured.  Late last night Antonio and myself returned from an excursion
on foot, bringing beneath our cloaks, as if they were smuggled goods, a
considerable number of Testaments; our path lay along the banks of the
Guadalquivir, the rain poured and the river roared, and by the time we
reached Seville we were wet through and covered with mud from head to
foot.  To-day I am laid up, being so _stiff_ and sore that I can hardly
move; but anything for the Gospel's sake.

It is my opinion, and I am not one of those who hazard an opinion rashly,
that much may be accomplished in this place, which, though by no means
the most populous and wealthy, is the most interesting town in all Spain,
and stands beneath the most glorious heaven, and amidst the most
delightful environs; but to effect anything, patience must be exhibited
and prudence employed, and much of both.  Consider my situation here.  I
am in a city by nature very Levitical, as it contains within it the most
magnificent and splendidly endowed cathedral of any in Spain.  I am
surrounded by priests and friars, who know and hate me, and who, if I
commit the slightest act of indiscretion, will halloo their myrmidons
against me.  The press is closed to me, the libraries are barred against
me, I have no one to assist me but my hired servant, no pious English
families to comfort or encourage me, the British subjects here being
ranker papists and a hundred times more bigoted than the Spanish
themselves, the consul a _renegade Quaker_.  Yet notwithstanding, with
God's assistance I will do much, though silently, burrowing like the mole
in darkness beneath the ground.  Those who have triumphed in Madrid, and
in the two Castiles where the difficulties were seven times greater, are
not to be dismayed by priestly frowns at Seville.  All I dread is the
imprudence of very excellent people, whose aim is good, but who are doing
exactly what is calculated to further the views of the enemy.  I wish
they could be brought to see the absolute necessity of changing their
system.  I suppose you heard of the affair of Cadiz.

I have of late written several letters home, which I wish may have been
received as they contain information which I think will be considered of
importance; nevertheless as the road to France has for some time past
been in the hands of the Carlists, it is very possible that they may have
miscarried.  I shall therefore take the liberty of telling you that about
a thousand Testaments have been sold, and all the Bibles, to the amount
of 463, since my return to the Peninsula.  I shall be happy to receive a
letter from you as soon as possible: you can direct either to my lodgings
at Madrid, or to Posada de la Reyna, Calle Gimios, Sevilla.

Pray excuse this letter, it is badly written, with a bad pen and with bad
ink.  I am moreover sick and in pain.  Present my respects to Mr. Jowett,
Mr. Browne, and all friends, not forgetting Dr. Steinkopff, to whom I
shortly hope to write.


To the Rev. G. Browne

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. July 1, 1839)
                                 SEVILLE, PLAZUELA DE LA PILA SECA, No. 7,
                                                          _June_ 12, 1839.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I received in due course of time your exceedingly
kind letter of the 16th April, and am very grateful for the various
intelligence which you were pleased to communicate.  I should have
replied ere this; but I am one of those, as I believe you are aware, who
are averse to writing, especially from a considerable distance, unless
they possess matter of sufficient consequence to fill creditably the
pages of an epistle.  I could wish that at the present moment I had more
to write upon, and more interesting details to send you than these which
follow.  For two or three weeks after my arrival at Seville I was unable
to accomplish anything, on account of the seizure of the books, with
which you are doubtless acquainted.  I however by the assistance of the
Almighty, for which I prayed, was enabled, though not without
considerable trouble, to overcome that difficulty, and to obtain all the
Testaments of which I was in need, to the number of two hundred and
upwards.  But still I commenced not operations; indeed I was quite at a
loss, being in a strange place and under very peculiar circumstances, to
imagine the best course to pursue.  I therefore waited with perfect
patience until it should please Providence to assist me, and true it is
that help came in rather a remarkable manner.

I was standing in the courtyard of the Reyna _posada_, where for the time
I had taken up my abode, when a man singularly dressed and gigantically
tall entered.  My curiosity being excited, I enquired of the master of
the house who he was, when he informed me that he was a foreigner who had
resided a considerable time in Seville, and he believed a Greek.  Upon
hearing this I instantly went up to the stranger, and accosted him in the
Greek language in which, though I speak it very ill, I can make myself
understood.  He replied in the same idiom, and, flattered by the interest
which I a foreigner expressed for his nation, was not slow in
communicating to me his history.  He told me, that his name was
Dionysius; that he was a native of Cephalonia, and had been educated for
the Church, which however not suiting his temper, he had abandoned in
order to follow the profession of the sea, for which he had an early
inclination; that after many adventures and changes of fortune he found
himself one morning on the coast of Spain--a shipwrecked mariner; and
that, ashamed to return to his own country in poverty and distress, he
had remained in the Peninsula, residing chiefly at Seville, where he now
carried on a small trade in books.  He said that he was of the Greek
religion, to which he professed strong attachment, and soon discovering
that I was a Protestant, spoke with unbounded abhorrence of the Papal
system, nay of its followers in general, whom he called Latins, and whom
he charged with the ruin of his own country, inasmuch as they sold it to
the Turk.  It instantly struck me that this individual would be an
excellent assistant in the work which had brought me to Seville, namely
the propagation of the eternal Gospel; and accordingly after some more
conversation, in which he exhibited considerable learning, I explained
myself to him.  He entered into my views with considerable eagerness; and
hitherto I have had no reason to repent my confidence, he having disposed
of a considerable number of New Testaments, and even contrived to send a
certain number of copies to two small towns, at some distance from

On account of the extreme dearness of every article at the _posada_,
where moreover I had a suspicion that I was watched, I removed with my
servant and horses to an empty house in a solitary part of the town,
where I still am, and where I purpose to remain during my stay in
Andalusia.  Here I live in the greatest privacy, admitting no person but
two or three in whom I have the greatest confidence, who entertain the
same views as myself and who assist me in the circulation of the Gospel.
One of these is a very remarkable person: an aged professor of music, by
birth an old Castilian, and one of the very few who retain traces of the
ancient Spanish character, which with all its faults, its stiffness, its
formality, and its pride, I believe (always setting the character of the
Christian aside) to be the most estimable and trustworthy in the world.
This venerable individual has just brought me the price of six Testaments
and a Gypsy Gospel, which he has this day sold under the heat of an
Andalusian sun.  What was his motive?  A Christian one, truly.  He says
that his unfortunate countrymen, who are at present robbing and murdering
each other, may probably be rendered better by the reading of the Gospel,
but cannot be injured: adding, that many a man has been reformed by the
Scripture but that no one ever yet became a thief or assassin from its

I have not yet addressed myself much to the lower orders in these parts.
Indeed the quantity of books, at my disposal, at present remaining unsold
in Spain is so small, that I am almost tempted to be niggard of them,
lest in an unprovided hour an extraordinary call should be made.
However, before leaving Seville, it will be well to pay some attention to
the poor.  I have an agent awaiting my orders, another Greek, introduced
to me by Dionysius; he is a labouring brick-layer, a native of the Morea,
and has been upwards of thirty-five years in this country, so that he has
almost entirely lost his native language; nevertheless his attachment to
his own country is so strong, that he considers whatever is not Greek to
be utterly barbarous and bad.  Though entirely destitute of education he
has, by his strength of character and by a kind of rude eloquence which
he possesses, obtained such a mastery over the minds of the labouring
classes of Seville that to everything he asserts they assent, however his
assertions may shock their prejudices and Spanish pride; so that
notwithstanding he is a foreigner he may at any time become the
_Masaniello_ of Seville.  I am happy to be able to add that he is an
honest, industrious man notwithstanding his eccentricities, so that
should I employ him, which I have not yet resolved upon, I may entertain
perfect confidence that his actions will be no disparagement to the book
he vends.

We are continually pressed for Bibles, which of course we cannot supply;
Testaments are held in comparatively little esteem.  Allow me to make
here a remark which it is true I ought to have made three years ago; but
we live and learn.  It is unwise to print Testaments, and Testaments
alone for Catholic countries.  The reason is plain.  The Catholic, unused
to Scripture reading, finds a thousand things which he cannot possibly
understand in the New Testament, the foundation of which is the Old.
'Search the Scriptures, for they bear witness to Me,' may well be applied
to this point.  It may be replied that New Testaments separate are in
great demand and of infinite utility in England.  But England, thanks be
to the Lord, is not Spain; and though an English labourer may read a
Testament and derive from it the most blessed fruit, it does not follow
that a Spanish peasant will enjoy similar success, as he will find many
dark things with which the other is well acquainted and competent to
understand, being versed in the Bible history from his childhood.  I
confess however that in the campaign of last summer we could not have
accomplished with Bibles what Providence permitted us to do with
Testaments, the former being far too bulky for rural journeys.  In
conclusion, I am glad to be able to say that one of my principal reasons
for leaving Madrid was an inability to answer the pressing demands for
Bibles which came pouring upon me every instant, and to which every
person in the house where I lived can bear witness.  Let the Revd. Doctor
Wiseman get over this fact, who in his unchristian and unfounded attack
on the Bible Society has stated that it cannot dispose of its books at
any price, nor indeed get rid of them gratis!

Dear Mrs. Browne shall have her letter.

                                                                     G. B.

_P.S._  I have just received Mr. Brandram's epistle.  Present to him my
best thanks for it, and above all for the remarks, which I will remember.
Pray let him send me the Pamphlet of the T. S.  I wish to see their
observations on the Vulgate.  Likewise the other papers.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. July 15, 1839)
                                 SEVILLE, PLAZUELA DE LA PILA SECA, No. 7,
                                                           28 _June_ 1839.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I received your letter of the 22nd May, and likewise
Mr. Jackson's of the 5th June, containing the conclusion of the [Annual]
Report, which you were so kind as to send me.  I wish in the first place
to say a few words, which some passages in your communication suggest.
Think not I pray you that any observation of yours respecting style, or
any peculiarities of expression which I am in the habit of exhibiting in
my correspondence, can possibly awaken in me any feeling but that of
gratitude, knowing so well as I do the person who offers them, and the
motives by which he is influenced.  I have reflected on those passages
which you were pleased to point out as objectionable, and have nothing to
reply further than that I have erred, that I am sorry, and will endeavour
to mend, and that moreover I have already prayed for assistance so to do.
Allow me however to offer a word not in excuse but in explanation of the
expression 'wonderful good fortune' which appeared in a former letter of
mine.  It is clearly objectionable, and, as you very properly observe,
savours of pagan times.  But I am sorry to say that I am much in the
habit of repeating other people's sayings without weighing their
propriety.  The saying was not mine: but I heard it in conversation and
thoughtlessly repeated it.  A few miles from Seville I was telling the
courier of the many perilous journeys which I had accomplished in Spain
in safety, and for which I thanked the Lord.  His reply was: '_La mucha
suerte de Usted tambien nos ha acompanado en este viage_.'

Your reply to the Trinitarian Society, for I suppose that it was written
by you, afforded me the highest satisfaction.  I admired its tone and
spirit, and said at the time that a more convincing piece of reasoning
had never been penned on any subject.  The case of Luther and the early
Reformers, who were converted from the errors of Popery by the perusal of
the Vulgate, the book of the Popish Church, is certainly exceedingly
strong; as it at once does away with any argument which may be raised
against the propriety of circulating versions made from it.  Perhaps it
would have been as well to add that the Lollards' Bible, the book which
converted England, was a literal translation from the Vulgate and not
from the original tongues, which, as is well knows, Wickliffe did not
understand.  Those who decry the Vulgate should please to remember that,
though adopted by the Popish Church, its foundation was laid before
Popery existed, and that before criticising a book it is desirable to
have read it.  There are faults in the Vulgate, indeed far too many; but
I believe them to be more the result of infirmity than malice, all the
heavy and strong texts most dangerous to the Papal system appearing in it
uncurtailed and unmodified.  No people dread the Vulgate more than the
Papists themselves, which they know to be _a terrible two-edged sword
which will cut off their hands if they handle it_.

I now beg leave to send you an extract of a letter which I received
yesterday morning from Madrid.  It is from my landlady, who is my agent
there, and I consider it to be my duty to communicate it to the Society,
as I consider that it speaks volumes as to the state of affairs in the
capital and the spirit of enquiry abroad; at the same time I presume not
to offer any comment upon it.  The rest of the letter treats of
indifferent matters.

'The binder has brought me eight Bibles, which he has contrived to make
up out of _the sheets gnawn by the rats_, and which would have been
necessary even had they amounted to eight thousand (_y era necesario se
puvieran vuelto_ 8000), {422a} because the people are innumerable who
come to seek more.  Don Santiago has been here with some friends, who
insisted upon having a part of them.  The Aragonese gentleman has
likewise been, he who came before your departure and bespoke twenty-four.
He now wants twenty-five.  I begged them to take Testaments, but they
would not.' {422b}

We go on selling Testaments at Seville in a quiet satisfactory manner.
We have just commenced offering the book to the poor.  That most
remarkable individual, Johannes Chrysostom, the Greek bricklayer, being
the agent whom we employ.  I confess that we might sell more than we at
present do, were we to press the matter; but we are cautious, and
moreover our stock of Testaments is waning apace.  Two or three ladies of
my acquaintance occasionally dispose of some amongst their friends, but
they say that they experience some difficulty, the cry for Bibles being
great.  Dionysius also tells me that for every Testament which he sells
he could dispose of with ease fifty Bibles.  Within a few weeks I propose
to cross the water to Ceuta and Tangiers with part of the books at
present in embargo at San Lucar.  I shall take the liberty of giving you
a full and minute description of the state of those places, the first of
which has, I believe, never been visited by any one bearing the Gospel.
When I consider the immensity of what remains to be done, even in this
inconsiderable portion of the globe, before wretched mortals can be
brought to any sense of their lost and fallen state, I invariably lose
all hope of anything efficient being accomplished by human means, unless
it shall please the Almighty to make of straws and rushes weapons capable
of cleaving the adamantine armour of superstition and unbelief.

It is eight o'clock at night, and Johannes Chrysostom has I just arrived
from his labour.  I have not spoken to him; but I hear him below in the
courtyard detailing to Antonio the progress he has made in the last two
days.  He speaks barbarous Greek, plentifully interlarded with Spanish
words; but I gather from his discourse that he has already sold twelve
Testaments among his fellow-labourers.  I hear copper coin falling on the
stones and Antonio, who is not of a very Christian temper, reproving him
for not having brought the proceeds of the sale in silver.  He now asks
for fifteen [Testaments] more, as he says the demand is becoming great,
and that he shall have no difficulty in disposing of them in the course
of the morrow whilst pursuing his occupations.  Antonio goes to fetch
them, and he now stands alone by the little marble fountain, singing a
wild song, which I believe to be a hymn of his beloved Greek Church.
Behold one of the helpers which the Lord has sent me in my Gospel labours
on the shores of the Guadalquivir.

Should you wish to transmit to me any part of the Report, I should
conceive that you had best direct it to the care of Mr. Brackenbury at
Cadiz, on whom I propose to call on my way to Ceuta, etc.  As for Cadiz
itself, I have no intention of attempting to do any thing there, at least
for the present.  After a great deal of gloomy and unsettled weather the
genuine Andalusian summer has come upon us at last.  The brilliancy of
the sun and the azure of the heavens are perfectly indescribable.  The
people here complain sadly of the heat, but as for myself, I luxuriate in
it, like the butterflies which hover about the _macetas_, or flowerpots,
in the court.  Hoping that you will present my remembrances to Mrs.
Brandram, and likewise to all other dear friends, I remain Revd. and dear
Sir, yours truly,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. Aug. 5, 1839)
                                  SEVILLE, No. 7 PLAZUELA DE LA PILA SECA,
                                                       18_th_ _July_ 1839.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--As I am about to leave Seville in a few days for San
Lucar, Tangiers, and Ceuta, I wish before setting out to send a word or
two in order that you may be acquainted with the state of matters up to
the present moment.  Our work is concluded here for the season, and for
the very efficient reason that I have no more Testaments to sell,
somewhat more than two hundred having been circulated since my arrival.
A poor Genoese, the waiter at a Swiss ordinary, has just been with me
requesting a dozen, which he says have been bespoken by people who
frequent the house, but I have been obliged to send him away, it not
being in my power to supply him.  About ten days since I was visited by
various _alguacils_, headed by the _Alcalde del Barrio_, or headborough,
who made a small seizure of Testaments and Gypsy Gospels which happened
to be lying about.  This visit was far from being disagreeable to me, as
I considered it to be a very satisfactory proof of the effect of our
exertions in Seville.  I cannot help here relating to you an anecdote.  A
day or two subsequent, having occasion to call at the house of the
headborough to complain of an act of dishonesty which had been committed
by my porters, I found him lying on his bed, for it was the hour of the
_siesta_, reading intently one of the very Testaments which he had taken
away--all of which, if he had obeyed his orders, he would have deposited
in the office of the Civil Governor.  So intently indeed was he engaged
in his reading that he did not at first observe my entrance; when he did,
however, he sprang up in great confusion, and locked the book up in his
cabinet; whereupon I smiled and told him to be under no alarm, as I was
glad to see him so usefully employed.  Recovering himself he said that he
had read the book nearly through, and that he had found no harm in it,
but on the contrary everything to praise, adding that he believed that
the clergy must be possessed with devils (_endemoniados_) to persecute it
in the manner which they did.

It was Sunday when the seizure was made, and I happened to be reading the
Liturgy.  One of the _alguacils_ when going away made an observation
respecting the very different manner in which the Protestants and
Catholics keep the Sabbath, the former being in their houses reading good
books, and the latter abroad in the bull ring, seeing the wild bulls
tearing out the gory bowels of the poor horses.  The bull amphitheatre at
Seville is, as you perhaps may have heard, the finest in all Spain, and
is invariably on a Sunday, the only day in which it is open, filled with
applauding multitudes.

I am happy to be able to say that the soil of Spain is now tolerably well
broken up, and to a certain degree prepared for the labours of any future
missionaries bearing the blessed Bible, who may visit this interesting
part of the world.  We have had considerable difficulty hitherto in
circulating Testaments, and we have merely been enabled to scatter about
the thousands, which are now being read, by very extraordinary exertions.
Nevertheless when I take a large view of the subject I feel inclined to
believe that we were right in commencing our labours in the interior of
Spain by printing an edition of the New Testament at Madrid.  I much
doubt whether the astonishing demand for the Bible, which almost
compelled me to leave the capital, and which now shows itself at Seville
and other places, for example, Burgos, Valladolid, and Saint James of
Galicia, to the great mortification of the Popish clergy, would have
arisen but for the appearance of the New Testament which awaked in
people's minds the desire of possessing the entire Scripture.  With great
humility, however, I feel disposed to advise that provided at any future
time the Society should think itself called upon to recommence its
exertions here in the cause of a crucified Saviour, it employ, as its
mighty instrument the Bible, the entire blessed Bible; having
nevertheless always ready for distribution a certain quantity of
Testaments, the wishes of weak human beings being influenced by such
strange causes that it is probable that were it known at Madrid, or in
other places, that there was a dearth of Testaments, the demand for the
same would instantly become greater than for the entire Bible.

A few days since I received a communication from my correspondent at
Saint James at Galicia, old Rey Romero, whom I have mentioned on a former
occasion when residing there.  The good old man has sent me in his
account, by which it appears that 115 copies of the New Testament were
sold at Saint James between the months of August 1837 and May 1838, at
which time the further sale of the work was forbidden, and 35 copies,
which remained unsold, placed in embargo.  The balance of the account in
our favour is 950 _reals_ after deducting all expenses.  I shall preserve
this letter with care, as I attach some importance to it.  Who has not
heard of Saint James of Compostella, the temple of the great image of the
patron of Spain, and the most favourite resort in the world of benighted
Popish pilgrims?  Nevertheless 115 copies of the pure unadulterated Word
of God were purchased there in a few months at the high price of ten
_reals_ each.  I humbly beg leave to refer you to my account of that
remarkable place, and to hope that in the statement of proceedings in
Spain it will not be forgotten.  64 copies, it appears, were also sold in
the small town of Lugo, also in Galicia, and 56 at Leon, the capital of
the ancient kingdom of the same name, and which perhaps may be considered
as the least enlightened and most fanatic place in all Spain.

By advice from Madrid from Mrs. Maria Diaz, whom I charged with the care
of the property of the Bible Society in that place, it appears that there
remain unsold:--

Of Testaments, 962

Of Gospels in the Gypsy tongue, 286

Of ditto in Basque, 394

The quantity of Testaments would not have been so large had I not
recovered before leaving Madrid upwards of two hundred, which had been
placed in embargo at Santander and subsequently removed to the capital.
On a rough account, therefore, I should say that about three thousand
have been sold during the last twelve months in the interior of Spain,
for which I give praise to God with the humility and gratitude due.  Of
those which remain I should wish to be permitted on my return from my
present expedition to circulate some in La Mancha, especially at
Manzanares and Valdepenas.  The state of that province is truly horrible;
it appears peopled partly with spectres and partly with demons.  There is
famine, and such famine; there is assassination, and such unnatural
assassination.  There you see soldiers and robbers, ghastly lepers and
horrible and uncouth maimed and blind, exhibiting their terrible
nakedness in the sun.  I was prevented last year in carrying the Gospel
amongst them.  May I be more successful this.

I now beg leave to conclude my tedious letter with requesting that you
will be kind enough to send the enclosed communication to my friend in
Russia.  I hope you will pardon the trouble I am giving you, but I have
no other resource, as there is no direct mode of communication between
Russia and Spain.  Present my kind remembrances to dear Mr. Jowett and
other friends, and believe me to remain, Revd. and dear Sir,

Ever truly yours,

                                                                     G. B.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. Oct. 7, 1839)
                                            TANGIERS, _September_ 4, 1839.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I have now been nearly one month in this place, and
should certainly have written to you before had I possessed any secure
means of despatching a letter; but there is no mail from Tangiers to any
part of the world, so that when writing one is obliged to have recourse
to the disagreeable necessity of confiding letters to individuals who
chance to be going to Gibraltar to be put into the post there, who not
unfrequently lose or forget them.  One which I wrote for Spain has
already miscarried, which circumstance makes me cautious.  I will now
relate the leading events which have occurred to me since my departure
from Seville, observing however that I have kept a regular journal, which
on the first opportunity I shall transmit for the satisfaction of my
friends at home.  You are already aware that I had determined to carry
the Scripture in Spanish to the Christian families established on the
sea-coast of Barbary, and more especially Tangiers, the Spanish language
being in general use among them, whether Spaniards by birth or Genoese,
French or English.  To enable me to do this, having no copies of the
sacred volume at Seville, I determined to avail myself of a certain
number of Testaments in embargo at the custom-house of San Lucar a town
at the mouth of the Guadalquivir, forming part of the stock seized by
order of the Government and which I had been officially requested to
remove from Spain.  I started from Seville on the night of the 31st of
July in one of the steamers which ply upon the Guadalquivir, arriving at
San Lucar early in the morning.  I shall now make an extract from my
journal, relative to the Testaments.

'It will be as well here to curtail what relates to these books,
otherwise the narrative might be considerably embarrassed.  They
consisted of a chest of Testaments in Spanish, and a small box of Saint
Luke's Gospel in the Gitano or language of the Spanish Gypsies.  I
obtained them from the custom-house of San Lucar with a pass for that of
Cadiz.  At Cadiz I was occupied two days, and also a person whom I
employed, in going through all the required formalities and in procuring
the necessary papers.  The expense was great, as money was demanded at
every step I took, though I was simply complying with the orders of the
Spanish Government in removing prohibited books from Spain.  The farce
did not end till after my arrival at Gibraltar, where I paid the Spanish
consul a dollar for certifying on the back of the pass that the books had
arrived, which pass I was obliged to send back to Cadiz.  It is true that
he never saw the books nor enquired about them; but he received the
money, for which alone he seemed to be anxious.

'Whilst at the custom-house of San Lucar, I was asked one or two
questions respecting the books contained in the chests; this afforded me
some opportunity of speaking of the New Testament and the Bible Society.
What I said excited attention, and presently all the officers and
dependents of the house, great and small, were gathered around me, from
the governor to the porter.  As it was necessary to open the boxes to
inspect their contents, we all proceeded to the courtyard where, holding
a Testament in my hand, I recommenced my discourse.  I scarcely know what
I said, for I was much agitated and hurried away by my feelings, when I
bethought me of the manner in which the Word of God was persecuted in the
unhappy kingdom of Spain.  My words however evidently made impression,
and to my astonishment every person present pressed me for a copy.  I
sold several within the walls of the custom-house.  The object, however,
of most attention was the Gypsy Gospel, which was minutely examined
amidst smiles and exclamations of surprise, some individual every now and
then crying '_Cosas de los Ingleses_.'  A bystander asked me whether I
could speak the Gitano language.  I replied that I could not only speak
it but write it, and instantly made a speech of about five minutes in the
Gypsy tongue, which I had no sooner concluded than all clapped their
hands, and simultaneously shouted, '_Cosas de los Ingleses_!  _Cosas de
los Ingleses_!'  I disposed of several Gypsy Gospels likewise, and having
now settled the business which brought me to the custom-house, I saluted
my new friends and departed with my books.

'I strolled from the inn to view the town.  It was past noon, and the
heat was exceedingly fierce . . . I became tired of gazing, and was
retracing my steps, when I was accosted by two Gypsies, men who by some
means had heard of my arrival.  We exchanged some words in Gitano, but
they appeared to be very ignorant of the language, and utterly unable to
maintain a conversation in it.  They were clamorous for a _gabicote_, or
book, in Gypsy.  I refused it them, saying that they could turn it to no
profitable account; and learning that they could read, promised them each
a Testament in Spanish.  This offer, however, they refused with disdain,
saying that they cared for nothing written in the language of the _Busne_
or Gentiles.  They then persisted in their demand, to which I at last
yielded, being unable to resist their importunity; whereupon they
accompanied me to the inn, and received what they so ardently desired.'

I arrived at Cadiz on the second day of August, when I waited upon Mr.
Brackenbury, the British consul-general.  His house, which is the corner
one at the entrance of the _Alameda_ or public walk, enjoys a noble
prospect of the bay, and is very large and magnificent.  I had of course
long been acquainted with Mr. B. by reputation.  I knew that for many
years he had filled with advantage to his native country and with honour
to himself the distinguished and highly responsible situation which he
holds in Spain.  I knew likewise that he was a good and pious Christian,
and moreover the firm and enlightened friend of the Bible Society.  Of
all this I was aware; but I had never enjoyed the advantage of being
personally acquainted with him.  I saw him now indeed for the first time.
I was much struck with his appearance; there is much dignity in his
countenance, which is, however, softened by an expression of good humour
truly captivating and engaging.  His manner is frank and affable in the
extreme.  I am not going to enter into minute details of our interview,
which was a very interesting one to myself.  He knew already the leading
parts of my history since my arrival in Spain, and made several comments
thereon which displayed his intimate knowledge of the situation of Spain,
as regards ecclesiastical matters, and the state of opinion respecting
religious innovation.  I was flattered to find that his ideas in many
points accorded with my own, and we were both decidedly of opinion that,
notwithstanding the great persecution and outcry which had lately been
raised against the Gospel, the battle was by no means lost in Spain, and
that we might yet hope to see the holy cause triumph.

During my stay at Cadiz I experienced every kind of hospitality from Mr.
B. and his charming family.  Upon my departure he supplied me with a
letter of introduction to Mr. Hay, the British consul at Tangiers, which
I have since learned was most flattering to myself and worded in the most
energetic manner.  I quitted Cadiz on the morning of Sunday, the 4th
August, in the steamer _Balear_, arriving at Gibraltar on the evening of
the same day.  Nothing particular occurred to me during my stay at
Gibraltar, where I engaged my passage on board a small trading vessel for
Tangiers.  We were detained by various causes until Thursday the 8th,
when we sailed about noon, and assisted by a strong and favourable wind
we reached the harbour of Tangiers before sunset.  I was not permitted to
go on shore that night, my passport and bill of health having first to be
examined by the authorities.  Early however on the following morning, Mr.
Hay, who had received Mr. Brackenbury's letters of introduction, sent a
Moorish soldier and his own servant to conduct me to his house, where he
received me in the kindest manner.  He had already procured me a
comfortable lodging in the house of a Christian woman where I have
remained ever since my arrival at Tangiers, constantly receiving every
species of attention and civility from Mr. Hay.

Tangiers stands on the side of a rather steep hill which rises above the
sea.  It is a walled town, and towards the water is defended with
batteries mounted with heavy cannon.  The streets are very numerous and
intersect each other in all directions; they are narrow and precipitous,
and the houses low, small and mean.  The principal mosque, or _jamma_
[_djmah_] is rather a handsome edifice, and its tower, or _sumah_, which
is built of bricks of various colours, presents a picturesque appearance
when viewed from the sea: of its interior I can of course say little, as
any Christian who should venture to intrude would be instantly cast forth
and probably killed by the populace.  About half way up the hill within
the town there is a small market-place called in the language of the
country _soc_.  It is surrounded with little shops or booths, in which
all kinds of dry fruits, such as dates, raisins, almonds, and walnuts are
exposed for sale, and also honey, soap, sugar, and such other articles of
grocery.  These little shops are not in general kept by Moors, but by
people from the country of Suz, who speak a different language from the
Moors, and are of a different race, being a branch of the Berber stem;
they are the grocers of Barbary and are, in comparison with the Moors, an
honest, peaceable, and industrious people.  The castle of the Governor
stands at the northern extremity of Tangiers, on the top of a high
eminence which towers above the town; its outer walls embrace a very
large portion of ground, which is principally occupied by large edifices
in the greatest dilapidation and decay.  The castle itself when I visited
it was undergoing repair, during the absence of the pasha who has since
returned.  All its inlets and outlets and also the greatest part of the
apartments were choked up with ruins, rubbish, and mortar.  The courtyard
however is very fine, and is adorned with a fountain distilling limpid
water, which is a rare spectacle in Tangiers where water is not in
abundance.  At each end of this court there is a hall of audience, highly
magnificent in its way, with a roof of rich fretted work in the old
Moorish taste, such as I have seen in the Alhambra of Granada, and in
that truly fairy palace the Alcazar of Seville.

Tangiers contains a population of about twenty thousand souls, of which
at least one-third are Jews: the Christian portion does not amount to
about two hundred and fifty individuals, including the various consuls
and their families.  These latter gentlemen enjoy considerable authority
in the town, so much so that in all disputes between Moors and Christians
they alone are the judges, and their decision is law; they are a very
respectable body, being without one exception exceedingly well-bred
gentlemanly individuals, and several of them, particularly Mr Hay, the
British consul-general, possessed of high literary attainments.  They
enjoy very large salaries from their respective governments, varying from
ten to sixteen thousand dollars per annum, so that, as all the
necessaries and indeed many of the luxuries of life may be obtained at a
very cheap price at Tangiers, they live in a state of magnificence more
akin to that of petty kings than consuls in general.  The most perfect
harmony exists amongst them, and if, at any time, any little dispute
occur between two or three of them, the rest instantly interfere and
arrange matters; and they are invariably united to a man against the
slightest infringement of their privileges and immunities on the part of
the Moorish Government, and a slight or injury to one is instantly
resented by all.  The duties of the greatest part of them are far from
being onerous, more especially as each is provided with a vice-consul,
who is also an exceedingly well-bred and very well-paid gentleman.  They
pass the greatest part of their time in cultivating their delicious
gardens, which, surrounded by hedges of _ksob_, which is a species of
gigantic reed, cover the hills in the vicinity of Tangiers.  Their
houses, which are palace-looking buildings in the European taste and
which contrast strangely with the mean huts of the Moors, are all
surmounted by a flag-staff, which on gala days displays the banner of its
respective nation.  It is curious then to gaze from the castle hill on
the town below; twelve banners are streaming in the wind of the Levant,
which blows here almost incessantly.  One is the bloody flag of the Moor,
the natural master of the soil; but the eleven are of foreigners and
Nazarenes, and are emblems of distant and different people.  There floats
the meteor banner of England beside the dirty rags of Spain and Portugal.
There the pride of Naples, of Sardinia, and Sweden.  There the angry
tricolor; and not far from it the most beautiful of all, the Dannebrog of
Denmark, a white cross gleaming consolingly amidst blood and fire, as
when first seen by Waldemar; neighbour to it the Austrian; there the
Orange; and yonder, far remote from all, like the country, the stripes
and stars of the United States.  Tangiers, with a Moorish and Jewish
population, is not the city either of the Moor or the Jew: it is that of
the consuls.

Were it possible for any unprejudiced and rational being to doubt for a
moment that the religion of Mahomet is a false one and uncalculated to
promote the moral and political improvement of mankind, a slight glance
at this Mahometan country would be sufficient to undeceive him.  The
Moors are the most fanatic of all Mahometans, and consider the Turks,
Persians, and other followers of the Desert-Prophet, as seceders from the
severe precepts of their religion.  What is their state?  They are
governed in their towns and provinces by arbitrary despots called Pashas,
who are accountable to no person but the Emperor, whose authority they
frequently set at nought, and who is himself a despot of the most
terrible description.  Their lives, properties, and families are
perfectly at the disposal of these men, who decapitate, imprison,
plunder, and violate as their inclination tempts them.  In this country
it is every person's interest, however wealthy, to exhibit an appearance
of abject poverty; as the suspicion of wealth instantly produces from the
Sultan or Pasha a demand for some large sum, which must be forthwith paid
or decapitation or torture are the severe alternatives.  Here justice is
indeed an empty name, the most atrocious criminals escaping unpunished if
able to offer a bribe sufficient to tempt the cupidity of those whose
duty it is to administer it.  Here money is sought after with insatiable
avidity by great and small, for its own sake, and not for what it will
produce.  It is piled up in the treasury or is buried underground,
according to the situation in life of its possessors.  In this land there
is neither public peace or individual security; no one travels a league
but at the extreme danger of his life, and war is continually raging not
against foreign enemies but amongst the people themselves.  The Sultan
collects armies and marches against this or that province, which is sure
to be in a state of rebellion; if successful, a thousand heads are borne
before him on his return in ghastly triumph on the lances of his
warriors; and if vanquished, his own not unfrequently blackens in the sun
above the gate of some town or village.  Here truth and good faith are
utterly unknown, friendship exists not, nor kindly social intercourse;
here pleasure is sought in the practice of abominations or in the chewing
of noxious and intoxicating drugs; here men make a pomp and a parade of
their infamy; and the cavalcade which escorts with jealous eye the wives
and concubines of the potentate on a march or journey is also charged
with the care of his _zammins_, the unfortunate youths who administer to
his fouler passions.  Such is the moral, and the political state of
Morocco!  Such are the fruits of a religion which is not that of the

The state of the Jews in this country is in every respect pitiable.  It
is one of great thraldom, yet is nevertheless far superior to what it was
previous to the accession of the present monarch Muley Abd al Rahman to
the throne; before that period they enjoyed scarcely any of the rights of
human beings, and were plundered, beaten, and maimed by the Moslems at
pleasure.  As the Moors of Barbary are the most fanatic amongst the
Mahometans, so are the Barbary Jews the most superstitious of their race,
observing in the strictest manner the precepts of the Talmud and the
sages.  A great many singular ceremonies and usages are to be found
amongst them which are not observed by the Hebrews in any other part of
the world, more especially at their wedding festivals which are carried
on during a period of eleven days, during which the house which is open
to all comers exhibits a continual scene of dancing, feasting, and
revelry of every description.  There is much at these marriages which has
served to remind me of those of the Gitanos of Spain at which I have been
frequently present, especially the riot and waste practised; for like the
Gitano, the Barbary Jew frequently spends during the days of his wedding
not only all that he is possessed of, but becomes an embarrassed man for
the rest of his life by the sums which he is compelled to borrow in order
not to incur the opprobrium of appearing mean on so solemn an occasion.
The books current among them are the Bible with the commentaries of the
rabbins, parts of the Mischna, and the prayers for all the year;
likewise, but more rare, the Zohar, which all speak of with unbounded
veneration, though few pretend to understand it.  I have not unfrequently
seen at their synagogues the Bible Society's edition of the Psalms, and
they appeared to prize it highly.

A market is held on every Thursday and Sunday morning beyond the walls of
Tangiers in a place called the _Soc de Barra_ or outward market-place.
Thither repair the Moors from the country, bringing with them corn, fruit
and other articles, the productions of their fields and gardens for the
consumption of the town.  It is my delight to visit this spot which is on
the side of a hill, and sitting down on a stone to gaze.  What a singular
scene presents itself to the view: a wild confusion of men and horses, of
donkeys and camels, of countenances of all hues, swarthy and black, livid
and pale, of turbans of all dyes, white, green and red, of Jewish
skull-caps with here and there an Andalusian hat, of haiks and
gaberdines, of arrogant Moors, indifferent Europeans and cringing
Hebrews, the latter walking barefooted in the place where the corn is
sold, which the Moor says is sacred and unfit to be pressed by the
sandals of the dog-Jew.  What a hubbub of sounds: the unearthly cry of
the enormous camels and the neighing, braying, and bleating of other
quadrupeds, mingled with the discordant jabber of various and strange
tongues.  I have been in many singular places in the course of my
existence, but certainly in none more so than the _Soc de Barra_ of

There is much Spanish spoken in this place, especially amongst the Jews;
it is also generally understood by the Europeans.  The prevalent language
however is the Arabic, or rather a dialect of it called by some
Mograbbin.  I was glad to find that I could make myself very well
understood with the Arabic of the East, notwithstanding that it differs
in many points from the Mograbbin, or language of the West.  One thing
has particularly struck me; namely that the wild people, who arrive from
the far interior and who perhaps have never before seen a European,
invariably understand me best, and frequently in conversation designate
objects with the same words as myself, which however are not intelligible
to the Moors of the coast.  I am by this time exceedingly well known at
Tangiers, indeed I take the best means of being so by entering into
discourse with every person.  I believe I am liked by the Moors and am
certainly treated with much respect by the Jews amongst whom a report
prevails that I am a Polish rabbi.  Shortly after my arrival I was
visited by the most wealthy Jewish merchant of Tangiers, who pressed me
in the strongest manner to take up my abode at his house, assuring me
[that I should live] at free cost, and be provided with all the comforts
and luxuries which could be procured.

I will now proceed to relate what has been accomplished in the cause of
the Gospel since my arrival at Tangiers.  I will endeavour to be as
concise as possible, reserving some particulars until a future occasion.
For the first fortnight I accomplished nothing, and indeed attempted
nothing in the way of distribution, being occupied in making myself
acquainted with the place and studying the character of its inhabitants.
I occasionally spoke to the Christians, who are principally Genoese and
Spanish sailors and their families, on the subject of religion, but with
the greatest caution, being unwilling to alarm the two or three friars
who reside in what is called the Spanish convent, who are the only
officiating Christian priests of the place, and who might have warned
their flock against the heretic intruder.  I found, as I had anticipated,
great ignorance among these poor people respecting the most important
points of the religion which they profess, and the Gospel of God they had
never seen nor heard of.  At the end of the above-mentioned period I
employed a Jewish youth to carry the Testament to their houses and to
offer it to them for sale.  It is with humble gratitude to the Lord that
I am able to state that considerable success crowned our efforts.  The
blessed Book is now in the hands of most of the Christians of Tangiers,
from the lowest to the highest, from the fisherman to the consul.  One
dozen and a half were carried to Tetuan on speculation, a town about six
leagues from hence; they will be offered to the Christians who reside
there.  Other two dozen are on their way to distant Mogadore.  One
individual, a tavern-keeper, has purchased Testaments to the number of
thirty, which he says he has no doubt he can dispose of to the foreign
sailors, who stop occasionally at his house.  You will be surprised to
hear that several amongst the Jews have purchased copies of the New
Testament, with the intention as they state of improving themselves in
Spanish, but I believe from curiosity.  Whatever their motive be, let
them but once read this holy Book and I have no fear of their remaining
enemies of the Lamb whom their fathers crucified.  I regret that only few
can read the Spanish language, their law forbidding them to read or write
any characters but the Hebrew.  Had I the New Testament to offer them in
the latter tongue, I believe that I could dispose of thousands of copies
in Barbary.  My work being completed here for the present, I now hasten
back to Seville; pray write to me speedily directing to the usual place.

I remain, Revd and dear Sir,

Truly yours,

                                                                G. BORROW.

To the Rev. G. Browne

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. Oct. 7, 1839)
                                                 CADIZ, _Sepr._ 21 [1839].

REVD. AND DEAR SIR AND EXCELLENT FRIEND,--I arrived at Cadiz this morning
by a small coasting-vessel, after undergoing a quarantine of four days at
Tarifa.  On calling at Mr. Brackenbury's I received your kind
communication of the 29th July, acquainting me with the resolution of the

Had I been aware of that resolution before my departure for Tangiers, I
certainly should not have gone.  My expedition, however, was the result
of much reflection.  I wished to carry the Gospel to the Christians of
the Barbary shore who were much in want of it; and I had one hundred and
thirty Testaments at San Lucar which I could only make available by
exportation.  The success which it has pleased the Lord to yield me in my
humble efforts at distribution in Barbary will, I believe, prove the best
criterion as to the fitness of the enterprise.

I stated in my last communication to Mr. Brandram the plan which I
conceived to be the best for circulating that portion of the edition of
the New Testament which remains unsold at Madrid, and I scarcely needed a
stimulant in the execution of my duty.  At present however I know not
what to do; I am sorrowful, disappointed, and unstrung.

I wish to return to England as soon as possible; but I have books and
papers at Madrid which are of much importance to me and which I cannot
abandon.  This perhaps alone prevents me embarking in the next packet.  I
have moreover brought with me from Tangiers the Jewish youth who so
powerfully assisted me in that place in the work of distribution.  I had
hoped to have made him of service in Spain; he is virtuous and clever.
My servant Antonio I was compelled to send back to Madrid ere my
departure from Seville on account of his many irregularities.

I am almost tempted to ask whether some strange, some unaccountable
delusion does not exist.  What should induce me to stay in Spain, as you
appear to suppose I intend?  I may, however, have misunderstood you.  I
wish to receive a fresh communication as soon as possible either from
yourself or Mr. Brandram; in the meantime I shall go to Seville, to which
place and to the usual number pray direct.

I enclose the last letter which I received from the firm of O'Shea, from
which it will appear that I received [word missing] thirty of the fifty
pounds drawn for: the residue covers the expenses at Madrid, of which I
defray one-half, the books being deposited at my lodgings.  I shall
shortly send in my account for the last four months.  Pray present my
kind remembrances to Mrs. B. and believe me to remain, Revd. and dear

Ever truly yours,

                                                                     G. B.

_P.S._--Best regards also to Messrs. Brandram and Jowett.

I have this moment received a letter from Seville, which was awaiting my
arrival at the post office.  The British consul states that the Bibles in
embargo there are at the disposal of the Society; this is the work of my
friend Mr. Southern at Madrid, for had he not exerted his powerful
interest in the matter they were lost, and could not even have been
exported.  To whom shall I send them?  To Gibraltar, or to England?

To the Rev. A. Brandram (Private)

                                        (_Endorsed_: recd. Octr. 14, 1839)
                                  SEVILLE, PLAZUELA DE LA PILA SECA No. 7,
                                                      29_th_ _Sepr._ 1839.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I beg leave to return you my best thanks for your
kind communication of the 27th Aug. which I found awaiting me on my
return from Tangiers, and for which I was already to a certain degree
prepared by my dear friend Mr. Browne's letter directed to the care of
Mr. Brackenbury at Cadiz.  I shall act up as soon as possible to the
Committee's request, that I take immediate measures for selling the
remainder of our Bible stock in Spain, or leaving it in safe custody.  I
will now tell you in a few words the steps which it appears to me most
advisable to take in the present emergency.

I shall mount my horses and depart for La Mancha; where I shall take up
my abode for a few weeks in a town with which you are already acquainted
and where I believe I have friends, and to which place I shall order a
chest of Testaments to be despatched from Madrid, on the receipt of which
I shall endeavour with the assistance of Hayim Ben Attar to put as many
copies as possible into circulation.  I have always wished to do
something in La Mancha, which is in every respect the worst part of
Spain.  I distinctly see that it must be now or never.  God has granted
me success in many difficult enterprises: perhaps it will please Him to
favour me in this.

I shall then move upon Madrid, and arrange matters in that capital.  If I
may be permitted here to offer my advice, I would strongly recommend that
four hundred copies of the New Testament be left there in deposit, with
those of Saint Luke in Gypsy and Basque which remain unsold.  Of the
former Gospel, indeed, there are not many, nearly one hundred copies
having been circulated amongst the Rommanees of Andalusia during my
present visit.  I then purpose to make for France, passing through
Saragossa, in which place, which is large and populous, I hope to
accomplish some good in the Lord's cause.  This is the outline of my
plan, which I shall attempt to put into execution without delay; though
if any one could propose a wiser, and better adapted to the present
circumstances, I shall at once relinquish it.

I have just received a communication from Mr. Brackenbury, in which he
has done me the honour to furnish me with a copy of a letter which he has
addressed to yourself and in which he has spoken of me.  The principal
consolation of a person in misfortune is the being able to say, 'In
whatever I have done, I have had the glory of God at heart'; and
certainly next to this consolation is the knowledge that his deeds and
actions meet the approbation of the good, the wise, and the
distinguished.  I wish not to recapitulate what I have done, but I beg to
be permitted to say that wherever I have been I have endeavoured to
elicit the kindly feelings of my fellow-creatures, not for my own benefit
but for the advancement of the true doctrine.  I found Mr. B. during my
last visit in a state of considerable agitation.  He showed me a letter
from Lord. P [Palmerston], a circular as it appeared, in which the
British consuls and their assistants in Spain are strictly forbidden to
afford the slightest countenance to religious agents.  What was the cause
of this last blow?  Mr. B. says it was an ill-advised application made to
his Lordship to interfere with the Spanish Government in behalf of a
certain individual whose line of conduct needs no comment.  There are
people in Spain who remember the time when those very consuls received
from a British Ambassador at Madrid instructions of an exactly contrary
character; but when dead flies fall into the ointment of the apothecary,
they cause it to send forth an unpleasant savour.

I am very glad that I went to Tangiers, for many reasons.  In the first
place, I was permitted to circulate many copies of God's Word both
amongst the Jews and the Christians, by the latter of whom it was
particularly wanted, their ignorance of the most vital points of religion
being truly horrible.  In the second place, I acquired a vast stock of
information concerning Africa and the state of its interior.  One of my
principal associates was a black slave, whose country was only three
days' journey from Timbuctoo, which place he had frequently visited.  The
Soosi men also told me many of the secrets of the land of wonders from
which they come, and the rabbis from Fez and Morocco were no less
communicative.  Moreover I consider it a great advantage to have obtained
the friendship of Mr. Hay, who is a true British gentleman.  I found him
at first reserved and distant, and I thought averse to countenance the
object of my mission.  In a few days, however, his manner changed
surprisingly, and at my departure he begged me to communicate to the
Bible Society that at all times and seasons he should be happy to receive
its commands, and to render all the assistance in Fez and Morocco which
his official situation would permit him, should the views of the Society
at any future time be directed to those regions.

Permit me, my dear Sir, to correct in your letter something which savours
of inaccuracy.  You hint at the issues of the Scriptures in Spain having
been small.  Now during the last year I have issued three thousand
Testaments and five hundred Bibles, which is certainly no small
circulation of the Word of God in such a country.  But pray inform me why
the circulation has not been ten times greater?  Surely you are aware
that among the many peculiarities of my situation was this distressing
one, namely, that I was scarcely ever able to supply the people with the
books that they were in want of.  They clamoured for Bibles, and I had
nothing but Testaments to offer them.  Had I been possessed of twenty
thousand Bibles in the spring of the present year, I could have disposed
of them all without leaving Madrid; and they would have found their way
through all Spain.  I beseech you always to bear this fact in mind in
your reports to the public, otherwise that public will remain strangely
in the dark respecting the spirit of enquiry which is abroad in Spain.

You are quite right in supposing that I entertain a favourable opinion of
Mr. Wood.  I know him to be a good husband and father, and a man who
fears the Lord: he is likewise possessed of considerable ability; but I
am entirely unacquainted with any plan which he may have formed
respecting printing the Scriptures in Spain, or any memorial which he may
have sent in to the Bible Society on the subject, so that of course I
cannot be expected to express an opinion.  It is my intention in a few
days to depart from hence on my expedition, so that should you be
desirous of writing to me, you had perhaps best address to Madrid.

When the Bible Society has no further occasion for my poor labours, I
hope it will do me justice to the world.  I have been its faithful and
zealous servant.  I shall on a future occasion take the liberty of
addressing you as a friend respecting my prospects.  I have the materials
of a curious book of travels in Spain; I have enough metrical
translations from all languages, especially the Celtic and Sclavonic, to
fill a dozen volumes; and I have formed a vocabulary of the Spanish Gypsy
tongue, and also a collection of the songs and poetry of the Gitanos with
introductory essays.  Perhaps some of these literary labours might be
turned to account.  I wish to obtain honourably and respectably the means
of visiting China, or particular parts of Africa.  I call this letter
private, but communicate such parts of it as you think proper.


To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. Dec. 19, 1839)
                                        PRISON OF SEVILLE, Novr. 25, 1839.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I write these lines as you see from the common
prison of Seville, to which I was led yesterday, or rather dragged,
neither for murder nor robbery nor debt but simply for having endeavoured
to obtain a passport for Cordova, to which place I was going with my
Jewish servant, Hayim Ben Attar.

It is necessary for me here to give you some information respecting my
proceedings since I last wrote.  I wished to distribute some more
Testaments in Seville before I left the country, and accordingly procured
a considerable number from Madrid.  Everything was accomplished with the
utmost secrecy, and the blessed books obtained considerable circulation.
I likewise sent agents into the country, and went myself in my accustomed
manner.  All went well, the entire stock which had reached me was
circulated, and I rested from my labours for a little time; for indeed I
had need of quiet, being indisposed.

Some English people now came to Seville and distributed tracts in a very
unguarded manner, knowing nothing of the country or the inhabitants.
They were even so unwise as _to give tracts instead of money on visiting
public buildings_, _etc._  These persons came to me, and requested my
co-operation and advice, and likewise introductions to people spiritually
disposed amongst the Spaniards, to all which requests I returned a
decided negative.  But I foresaw all.  In a day or two I was summoned
before the _Gefe Politico_ or, as he was once called, _Corregidor_ of
Seville, who I must say treated me with the utmost politeness, and indeed
respect; but at the same time he informed me that he had (to use his own
expression) terrible orders from Madrid concerning me, if I should be
discovered in the act of distributing the Scriptures or any writings of a
religious tendency.  He then taxed me with having circulated both lately,
especially tracts: whereupon I told him that I had never distributed a
tract since I had been in Spain, nor had any intention of doing so.  We
had much conversation and parted in kindness.  I went away for a few
days, though without intending to do anything, and wrote to the firm of
O'Shea for money, of which I stood in need and which I received.  I now
determined to make for La Mancha and to put my plan into execution, which
I should have done sooner had the roads been a little more secure.
Yesterday I sent my passport to be signed by the _Alcalde del Barrio_.
This fellow is the greatest ruffian in Seville, and I have on various
occasions been insulted by him; he pretends to be a liberal, but is of no
principle at all, and as I reside within his district he has been
employed by the Canons of the cathedral to vex and harass me on every
possible occasion.  (By the way, the hatred which these last people
nourish against me amounts almost to frenzy, and scarcely a day passes by
in which they do not send in false accusations against me to the _Gefe
Politico_; they have even gone so far as to induce people to perjure
themselves by swearing that I have sold or given them books, people whom
I have never seen nor heard of; and the same system was carried on whilst
I was in Africa, for they are so foolishly suspicious that they could not
be persuaded that I was out of Seville.)  The above-mentioned _Alcalde_
refused to sign the passport, though he was bound to do so, it being
quite in form, and insulted the messenger: whereupon I sent the latter
back with money to pay any fees lawful or unlawful which might be
demanded, as I wished to avoid noise and the necessity of applying to the
consul, Mr. Williams.  But the fellow became only more outrageous.  I
then went myself to demand an explanation and was called all the vilest
names contained in the Spanish _Germania_ (Billingsgate), whereupon I
told him that if he proceeded in this manner I would make a complaint to
the authorities through the consul.  He then said that if I did not
instantly depart he would drag me off to prison, and cause me to be
knocked down if I made the slightest resistance.  I dared him repeatedly
to do both, and said that he was a disgrace to the Government which
employed him and to human nature.  He called me a heretic.  We were now
in the street and a mob was collected, whereupon I cried '_Viva
Inglaterra_, _y viva La Constitucion_.'  The populace seemed disposed to
side with me, notwithstanding the exhortations of the monster to them
that they would knock down _the foreigner_, for he himself quailed before
me as I looked him in the eyes defying him.  He at last ran to a
neighbouring guard-house, and requested the assistance of the Nationals
in conducting me to prison.  I followed him and delivered myself up at
the first summons, and walked to the prison without uttering a word: not
so the ruffian, who continued his abuse until we arrived at the gate.  I
was asked my name by the authorities of the prison, which I refused to
give unless in the presence of the consul, and indeed to answer any
questions.  I was then ordered to the _patio_ or courtyard, where are
kept the lowest thieves and assassins of Seville, who having no money
cannot pay for better accommodation, and by whom I should have been
stripped naked in a moment as a matter of course, as they are all in a
state of raging hunger and utter destitution.  I asked for a private
cell, which I was told I might have if I could pay for it.  I stated my
willingness to pay anything which might be demanded, and was conducted to
an upper ward, consisting of several cells and a corridor.  Here I found
six or seven prisoners who received me very civilly, and instantly
procured me paper and ink for the purpose of writing to the consul.  In
less than an hour Mr. Williams arrived and I told him my story, at which
he wondered, as he well might, and presently departed in order to demand
redress of the authorities.  The next morning I was informed that the
ruffian the _Alcalde_ had upon his own authority entered my house and
searched for prohibited books, hoping, if he found any, to justify to a
certain degree his conduct to me.  He found none, and is now quite in my
power, without a shadow of excuse--he having entered by force the house
of a foreigner, without authority, and not in the presence of the consul
of the nation.  I have now been here four-and-twenty hours, and am
assured that my liberation will have been effectuated before another day
shall have passed over.  My fellow-prisoners have treated me with
unbounded kindness and hospitality, and I have never found myself amongst
more quiet and well-behaved men.  Yet--what is their history?  The
handsome black-haired man who is now looking over my shoulder is the
celebrated thief Palacio, the most expert housebreaker and dexterous
swindler in Spain--in a word, the modern Guzman Dalfarache.  The brawny
man who sits by the _brasero_ of charcoal is Salvador, the highwayman of
Ronda, who has committed a hundred murders.  A fashionably dressed man,
short and slight in person, is walking about the room: he wears immense
whiskers and mustachios; he is one of that most singular race the Jews of
Spain; he is imprisoned for counterfeiting money.  He is an atheist, but
like a true Jew the name which he most hates is that of Christ.  Yet he
is so quiet and civil, and they are all so quiet and civil, and it is
that which most horrifies me, for quietness and civility in them seem so

Novr. 26th.  Since writing the above, I have been set at liberty.  I am
going to Madrid in a few hours to demand redress, and to make
preparations for leaving Spain as soon as possible.  There is nothing
more to be done here for the present in the cause of the Gospel.  I
received your letter, which I read with great pleasure.  You are quite
right in most of your observations, and especially in one.  That circular
_was_ uncalled for.

Ever yours,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. Jan. 3, 1840.)
                                                         _Decr._ 24, 1839,
                                            MADRID, No. 16 CALLE SANTIAGO.

REV. AND DEAR SIR,--The last letter which I wrote to you was from
Seville, and in that I gave you an account of what I had been doing for
some time previous and likewise of my imprisonment.  I have now been in
Madrid nearly three weeks, and immediately after my arrival I demanded
redress of the Spanish Government for the various outrages which I have
recently been subjected to at Seville.  Mr. Aston, the British Minister,
not having yet arrived at Madrid, I presented my complaint through Mr.
Jerningham the first secretary of Legation, who has superseded Mr.
Southern, the latter gentleman having been appointed to Lisbon.  Mr.
Southern introduced me to Mr. Jerningham, who received me with great
kindness and took up my cause very warmly.  Whether I shall be able to
obtain justice I know not, for I have against me the Canons of Seville;
and all the arts of villainy which they are so accustomed to practise
will of course be used against me for the purpose of screening the
ruffian who is their instrument.  An instance which I am about to give
will speak volumes as to this person's character.  When I was in prison,
he forced his way into my house and searched it for Testaments, but found
none.  When he was questioned by the vice-consul as to the authority by
which he made this search, he pulled out a paper purporting to be the
deposition of an old woman to the effect that I had sold her a Testament
some ten days before.  This document was a forgery.  I had never seen the
female in question, and during the whole time that I have been in
Andalusia I have never sold a book of any description to any such person.

I have been, my dear Sir, fighting with wild beasts during the greatest
part of the time which has elapsed since I had last the pleasure of
seeing you.  None but myself can have an idea of what I have undergone
and the difficulties which I have had to encounter; but I wish not to
dilate on that subject.  Thanks be to the Most High that my labours are
now brought to a conclusion.  The Madrid edition of the New Testament has
been distributed, with the exception of a few hundred copies, which I
have no wish should be sold at present, for reasons stated on a prior
occasion, and which I shall endeavour to leave in safe custody.  The fate
of this edition has been a singular one, by far the greatest part having
been dispersed among the peasantry of Spain and the remainder amongst the
very poor of the towns, the artisans of Madrid and Seville, the
water-carriers and porters.  You will rarely find a copy of this work in
the houses of the wealthy and respectable, but you will frequently light
upon it in the huts of the labourers, in the garrets or cellars of the
penniless, and even in the hulks and convict-garrisons (_presidios_).  I
myself saw it in the prison of Seville.  As for the few copies of the
entire Bible which I had at my disposal, they have been distributed
amongst the upper classes, chiefly amongst the mercantile body, the
members of which upon the whole are by far the most intellectual and best
educated of the subjects of the Spanish monarchy.

I have thus cast my books upon the waters.  It is for the Lord on high to
determine the quantity of good which they are to operate.  I have a
humble hope however that they will be permitted to do some.  If the eyes
of only a few of these unhappy people amongst whom I am still sojourning
be through them opened to one of the damning errors of popery, I shall
esteem myself amply remunerated for all the pain, the anxiety, and I may
almost say misery (for the flesh is weak) which I have experienced in the
work, even for that--to me, the most heart-breaking of everything--the
strange, the disadvantageous light in which, I am aware, I must
frequently have appeared to those I most respect and love.  My situation
throughout has been a most peculiar one, rocks and quicksands have
surrounded me on every side, and frequently I have been compelled to give
offence to my friends in order not to afford a triumph to the enemies of
God and His cause.

In your last kind communication, I think, you said that neither our
excellent friend Mr. B. [Brackenbury] nor myself appeared properly to
appreciate the worth of two other of our friends who had been labouring
in Spain.  Permit me here to observe that we both appreciate their
sterling worth of character and piety; they are both very extraordinary
individuals, one particularly so, and the zeal which both have displayed
in a holy cause is quite above praise.  But it is necessary in order to
accomplish much good in a country situated as this is at present, that
the greatest prudence and foresight go hand in hand with zeal and piety.
A corrupt Government, influenced by an atrocious priesthood, has for the
last three years been on the look-out to take advantage of every rash
movement of the helpers in God's cause in Spain.  It ought always to be
borne in mind that though nominally a constitutional country, Spain is
governed by despotism the more infamous and dangerous as it decks itself
in the garb of liberty.  Whenever a native becomes obnoxious to the
Government, he is instantly seized and imprisoned, though perhaps guilty
of no crime which can be punished by law; foreigners have by law
particular privileges, but these privileges are every day violated, and
redress is seldom or never obtained; which proves that the law is a dead

I know perfectly well that it is no infraction of the _law_ to print or
sell the Holy Scriptures, either with or without comment, in Spain.  What
then?  Is there not such a thing as _A Royal Ordinance_ to the effect
that the Scriptures be seized wherever they are found?  True it is that
ordinance is an unlawful one: but what matters that, provided it be put
into execution by the authorities civil and military?  Too many
Englishmen who visit Spain imagine that they carry their own highly
favoured country at their back, a country in which the law rules supreme;
but let them once be brought into collision with the Government, and they
will soon learn how little it avails them to have right on their side
whilst brute force is always at the call of their adversaries.

I have informed Mr. Jerningham that for some time past I have
relinquished distributing the Scriptures in Spain--which is the truth.  I
therefore claim the privileges of a British subject and the protection of
my Government.  I shall return to England as soon as I can obtain some
redress for this affair.  It is then my intention to attempt to obtain an
interview with some of the members of the House of Lords.  I have
important disclosures to make respecting the system of persecution which
still exists in this country with respect to Protestants, who are not
only debarred the exercise of their religion but to whom the common
privilege of burial is denied: so much for the tolerance of Popery.  Yet
there are journals of talent and learning in England who, observing that
British Protestants, alarmed at the progress which the Papal doctrine is
making in the British islands, are concerting measures for their own
defence, accuse them of raising once more the _senseless bray against
Popery_; as if every unprejudiced person was not aware that Popery is an
unrelenting fiend which never spares when it has the power to crush--and
that power I am afraid it will soon possess in Britain, unless the poor
down-trodden Protestants stand back to back and combat the monster to the
death.  This is no vain alarm, I assure you; therefore I beg that you
will not smile.  Few people know more of the secrets of Popery than
myself, or the stand which she intends to take when time and place serve.
Therefore in conclusion let me entreat those of our friends who may hear
these lines read to be on their guard, to drop all petty dissensions, and
to comport themselves like brothers.  Protestants must no longer be

I will write again in a day or two.

May the Lord be with you, Revd. and dear Sir.

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                          (_Endorsed_: recd. Jan. 7, 1840)
                                           MADRID, No. 16 CALLE, SANTIAGO,
                                                       28_th_ _Dec._ 1839.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--I lose not a moment in writing to you in consequence
of an article in one of the London papers (the _Courier_, I believe)
which has just been shown me.  It relates to my late imprisonment at
Seville, and contains part of a letter which I showed to a friend and
which indeed was a copy of that which I sent to yourself.  With respect
to the letter I have little to observe, save that I showed it to various
individuals (who took copies) in order that an incorrect account of the
affair might not get abroad; but I beg leave solemnly to assure you that
I disavow and give no countenance to any remarks or observations
respecting it which may find their way into print.  I am not ashamed of
the _Methodists of Cadiz_; their conduct in many respects does them
honour, nor do I accuse any one of fanaticism amongst our dear and worthy
friends; but I cannot answer for the tittle-tattle of Madrid.  Far be it
from me to reflect upon any one: I am but too well aware of my own
multitudinous imperfections and follies.  I am going instantly to write
to Mr. Rule, and I would also to our other friend did I but know his
address.  Should you have an opportunity of communicating with him, pray,
pray say something on the subject, and present to him my kind love.  I
hope sincerely no further notice will be taken of this affair in the
newspapers, but to attempt to correct their errors would merely make bad
worse.  Pray excuse my agitation, but I write in haste.

I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, yours sincerely,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                         (_Endorsed_: recd. Jan. 13, 1840)
                                            MADRID, No. 16 CALLE SANTIAGO,
                                                         2 _January_ 1840.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--To-morrow I depart in order to return to Seville.  I
have laid a full account of the late outrageous assault before the
British Embassy, and a strong representation has been made to the Spanish
Government.  I have now nothing further to detain me in the Spanish
capital, and I hope that within a very short time I shall be able to bid
adieu to the shores of Spain, which I shall quit with as little regret as
the tired labourer at nightfall quits the filthy ditch in which he has
been toiling during the whole of a dreary day.

I should feel much obliged if you would write me a line or two, directed
to my usual address, No. 7 Plazuela de la Pila Seca, Sevilla, with any
little information respecting matters of serious import, as I am almost
entirely unacquainted with what has been going on during the last six
months, the public journals containing little which has any interest for
me.  Is it possible that the British Government is going to bombard the
coast of China because the Emperor of that country is not disposed to
countenance opium smuggling?  I have frequently difficulty in believing
my eyes when I read of the proceedings of Christians and people high in
authority, whom it is of course my wish and duty to respect.  Is it
wonderful that the Chinese cling to Buddh and refuse to confess the Son
of the Eternal, when they see the professors of the Christian religion
commit such acts of cruel violence and flagrant injustice?

I have drawn for twenty pounds, which will liquidate the expenses of the
journey from Seville and back again.  I shall require no more until my
departure for England.  In the meanwhile I am preparing my accounts and
various other papers.  Pray present my best remembrances to all my
friends.  If there be anything which I can perform for any of them before
I leave Spain, let them but inform me and it shall be done.

I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, ever yours,

                                                            GEORGE BORROW.

To the Rev. A. Brandram

                                      (_Endorsed_: recd. March 31st, 1840)
                                                SEVILLE, _March_ 18, 1840.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR,--Last night I received a letter from my worthy friend
Mr. Brackenbury, in which he informed me that he had received a
communication from Mr. Jackson stating that since my departure from
Madrid the Society had heard nothing from me and that it was anxious on
my account.  This intelligence astonished me; as towards the end of
January and beginning of February I wrote two letters, one to yourself
and the other to Mr. Hitchin.  From yourself I had expected an answer,
and your silence made me very, very unhappy.  For upwards of five months
I have not heard a word from England, though during that period I have
written twelve letters, of which seven were to the Bible Society.

I did not return to England immediately after my departure from Madrid,
for several reasons.  First, there was my affair with the _Alcalde_ still
pending; second, I wished to get my papers into some order; third, I
wished to effect a little more in the cause, though not in the way of
distribution as I had no books; moreover the house in which I resided was
paid for, and I was unwilling altogether to lose the money; I likewise
dreaded an English winter, for I have lately been subjected to attacks,
whether of gout or rheumatism I know not, which I believe were brought on
by sitting, standing and sleeping in damp places during my wanderings in
Spain.  The _Alcalde_ has lately been turned out of his situation, but I
believe more on account of his being a Carlist than for his behaviour to
me; that however, is of little consequence, as I have long forgotten the
affair.  I have again been in trouble; and the Government and clergy seem
determined on persecuting me until I leave Spain.  I embark on the third
of next month, and you will probably see me by the sixteenth.  I wish
very much to spend the remaining years of my life in the northern parts
of China, as I think I have a call to those regions, and shall endeavour
by every honourable means to effect my purpose.  I have a work nearly in
readiness for publication, and two others in a state of forwardness.  The
title of the first I take the liberty of sending you on the other side.
I hope yet to die in the cause of my Redeemer.

I have at present nothing further to say of importance.

I therefore remain, as usual, Revd. and dear Sir, most sincerely yours,

                                                                     G. B.

_P.S._--What an admirable man and Christian is Mr. Brackenbury!

The title George Borrow wrote on the fly-leaf was...

                               THE ZIN-CALI
                       OR AN ACCOUNT OF THE GYPSIES
                                 OF SPAIN
                        WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS
                                  G. B.
                             IN TWO VOLUMES.


{137}  Friday, or the day of Crucifixion.

{153}  Almost all other articles in Madrid are proportionably dear.

{154}  Amat's Bible sells for 4 dollars.

{197}  The Spanish sheet is but one-fourth the size of the English.

{251}  This animal cost the Society about two thousand _reals_ at Madrid;
I, however, sold him for three thousand at Corunna, notwithstanding that
he had suffered much from the hard labour which he had been subjected to
in our wanderings in Galicia, and likewise from bad provender.

{256}  I have since discovered that they were only despatched the day
before my arrival at Madrid.

{274}  I think the sale is becoming brisker; this very day we have sold

{275a}  I wish much that I had the Old Testament apart, precisely in the
same form.

{275b}  Mr. Villiers has hitherto taken but 50 copies, which he has
distributed amongst his friends; his situation has been such lately, that
more could not be reasonably expected from him.  Even his is not a bed of

{392}  [Greek text] as Antonio says.

{422a}  I send the original phrase which is remarkable, and in remarkable

{422b}  They were supplied six months ago.

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